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Title: Caricature and Other Comic Art - in all Times and many Lands.
Author: Parton, James, 1822-1891
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Portraits.]







  [Illustration: Editor's logo.]

           NEW YORK

  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by
  In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


In this volume there is, I believe, a greater variety of pictures of a
comic and satirical cast than was ever before presented at one view.
Many nations, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, are represented
in it, as well as most of the names identified with art of this nature.
The extraordinary liberality of the publishers, and the skill of their
corps of engravers, have seconded my own industrious researches, and the
result is a volume unique, at least, in the character of its
illustrations. A large portion of its contents appeared in _Harper's
Monthly Magazine_ during the year 1875; but many of the most curious and
interesting of the pictures are given here for the first time; notably,
those exhibiting the present or recent caricature of Germany, Spain,
Italy, China, and Japan, several of which did not arrive in time for use
in the periodical.

Generally speaking, articles contributed to a Magazine may as well be
left in their natural tomb of "back numbers," or "bound volumes;" for
the better they serve a temporary purpose, the less adapted they are for
permanent utility. Among the exceptions are such series as the present,
which had no reference whatever to the passing months, and in the
preparation of which a great expenditure was directed to a single class
of objects of special interest. I am, indeed, amazed at the cost of
producing such articles as these. So very great is the expense, that
many subjects could not be adequately treated, with all desirable
illustration, unless the publishers could offer the work to the public
in portions.

There is not much to be said upon the subject treated in this volume.
When I was invited by the learned and urbane editor of _Harper's
Monthly_ to furnish a number of articles upon caricature, I supposed
that the work proposed would be a relief after labors too arduous, too
long continued, and of a more serious character. On the contrary, no
subject that I ever attempted presented such baffling difficulties.
After ransacking the world for specimens, and collecting them by the
hundred, I found that, usually, a caricature is a thing of a moment, and
that, dying as soon as its moment has passed, it loses all power to
interest, instantly and forever. I found, too, that our respectable
ancestors had not the least notion of what we call decency. When,
therefore, I had laid aside from the mass the obsolete and the improper,
there were not so very many left, and most of those told their own story
so plainly that no elucidation was necessary. Instead of wearying the
reader with a mere descriptive catalogue, I have preferred to accompany
the pictures with allusions to contemporary satire other than pictorial.

The great living authorities upon this branch of art are two in
number--one English, and one French--to both of whom I am greatly
indebted. The English author is Thomas Wright, M.A., F.S.A., etc., whose
"History of Caricature and the Grotesque" is well known among us, as
well as his more recent volume upon the incomparable caricaturist of the
last generation, James Gillray. The French writer is M. Jules
Champfleury, author of a valuable series of volumes reviewing satiric
art from ancient times to our own day, with countless illustrations. No
one has treated so fully or so well as he the caricature of the Greeks
and Romans. Many years ago, M. Champfleury began to illustrate this part
of his subject in the _Gazette des Beaux Arts_, and his contributions to
that important periodical were the basis of his subsequent volumes. He
is one of the few writers on comic matters who have avoided the lapse
into catalogue, and contrived to be interesting.

It has been agreeable to me to observe that Americans are not without
natural aptitude in this kind of art. Our generous Franklin, the friend
of Hogarth, to whom the dying artist wrote his last letter, replying to
the last letter he ever received, was a capital caricaturist, and used
his skill in this way, as he did all his other gifts and powers, in
behalf of his country and his kind. At the present time, every week's
issue of the illustrated periodicals exhibits evidence of the skill, as
well as the patriotism and right feeling, of the humorous artists of the
United States. For some years past, caricature has been a power in the
land, and a power generally on the right side. There are also humorous
artists of another and gentler kind, some even of the gentler sex, who
present to us scenes which surprise us all into smiles and good temper
without having in them any lurking sting of reproof. These domestic
humorists, I trust, will continue to amuse and soften us, while the
avenging satirist with dreadful pencil makes mad the guilty, and appalls
the free.

There must be something precious in caricature, else the enemies of
truth and freedom would not hate it as they do. Some of the worst
excesses and perversions of satiric art are due to that very hatred.
Persecuted and repressed, caricature becomes malign and perverse; or,
being excluded from legitimate subjects, it seems as if it were
compelled to ally itself to vice. We have only to turn from a heap of
French albums to volumes of English caricature to have a striking
evidence of the truth, that the repressive system represses good and
develops evil. It is the "Censure" that debauches the comic pencil; it
is freedom that makes it the ally of good conduct and sound politics. In
free countries alone it has scope enough, without wandering into paths
which the eternal proprieties forbid. I am sometimes sanguine enough to
think that the pencil of the satirist will at last render war
impossible, by bringing vividly home to all genial minds the ludicrous
absurdity of such a method of arriving at truth. Fancy two armies "in
presence." By some process yet to be developed, the Nast of the next
generation, if not the admirable Nast of this, projects upon the sky, in
the sight of the belligerent forces, a picture exhibiting the enormous
comicality of their attitude and purpose. They all see the point, and
both armies break up in laughter, and come together roaring over the

In the hope that this volume may contribute something to the amusement
of the happy at festive seasons, and to the instruction of the curious
at all times, it is presented to the consideration of the public.


  CHAPTER I.                                            Page

    Among the Romans                                      15


    Among the Greeks                                      28


    Among the Ancient Egyptians                           32


    Among the Hindoos                                     36


    Religious Caricature in the Middle Ages               40


    Secular Caricature in the Middle Ages                 50


    Caricatures preceding the Reformation                 64


    Comic Art and the Reformation                         76


    In the Puritan Period                                 90


    Later Puritan Caricature                             105


    Preceding Hogarth                                    120


    Hogarth and his Time                                 133


    English Caricature in the Revolutionary Period       147


    During the French Revolution                         159


    Caricatures of Women and Matrimony                   171


    Among the Chinese                                    191


    Comic Art in Japan                                   198


    French Caricature                                    208


    Later French Caricature                              230


    Comic Art in Germany                                 242


    Comic Art in Spain                                   249


    Italian Caricature                                   257


    English Caricature of the Present Century            267


    Comic Art in "Punch"                                 284


    Early American Caricature                            300


    Later American Caricature                            318

  INDEX                                                  335



  Pigmy Pugilists, from Pompeii                           15

  Chalk Drawing by Roman Soldier in Pompeii               15

  Chalk Caricature on a Wall in Pompeii                   16

  Battle between Pigmies and Geese                        17

  A Pigmy Scene--from Pompeii                             18

  Vases with Pigmy Designs                                19

  A Grasshopper driving a Chariot                         19

  From an Antique Amethyst                                19

  Flight of Æneas from Troy                               20

  Caricature of the Flight of Æneas                       20

  From a Red Jasper                                       21

  Roman Masks, Comic and Tragic                           22

  Roman Comic Actor, masked for Silenus                   22

  Roman Wall Caricature of a Christian                    25

  Burlesque of Jupiter's Wooing of Princess Alcmena       29

  Greek Caricature of the Oracle of Apollo                30

  An Egyptian Caricature                                  32

  A Condemned Soul, Egyptian Caricature                   33

  Egyptian Servants conveying Home their Masters from
    a Carouse                                             33

  Too Late with the Basin                                 34

  The Hindoo God Krishna on his Travels                   37

  Krishna's Attendants assuming the Form of a Bird        37

  Krishna in his Palanquin                                38

  Capital in the Autun Cathedral                          41

  Capitals in the Strasburg Cathedral, A.D. 1300          41

  Engraved upon a Stall in Sherborne Minster, England     43

  From a Manuscript of the Thirteenth Century             43

  From a Mass-book of the Fourteenth Century              44

  From a French Prayer-book of the Thirteenth Century     45

  From Queen Mary's Prayer-book, A.D. 1553                46

  Gog and Magog, Guildhall, London                        50

  Head of the Great Dragon of Norwich                     51

  Souls weighed in the Balance, Autun Cathedral           51

  Struggle for Possession of a Soul between Angel and
    Devil                                                 52

  Lost Souls cast into Hell                               53

  Devils seizing their Prey                               54

  The Temptation                                          55

  French Death-crier                                      56

  Death and the Cripple                                   57

  Death and the Old Man                                   58

  Death and the Peddler                                   58

  Death and the Knight                                    58

  Heaven and Earth weighed in the Balance                 60

  English Caricature of an Irishman, A.D. 1280            62

  Caricature of the Jews in England, A.D. 1233            63

  Luther inspired by Satan                                64

  Devil fiddling upon a Pair of Bellows                   65

  Oldest Drawing in the British Museum, A.D. 1320         66

  Bishop's Seal, A.D. 1300                                67

  Pastor and Flock, Sixteenth Century                     70

  Confessing to God; and Sale of Indulgences              72

  Christ, the True Light                                  73

  Papa, Doctor Theologiæ et Magister Fidei                77

  The Pope cast into Hell                                 77

  "The Beam that is in thine own Eye," A.D. 1540          78

  Luther Triumphant                                       79

  The Triumph of Riches                                   81

  Calvin branded                                          83

  Calvin at the Burning of Servetus                       84

  Calvin, the Pope, and Luther                            85

  Titian's Caricature of the Laocoön                      89

  The Papal Gorgon                                        90

  Spayne and Rome defeated                                94

  From Title-page to Sermon "Woe to Drunkards"            97

  "Let not the World devide those whom Christ hath
    joined"                                               99

  "England's Wolfe with Eagle's Clawes," 1647            102

  Charles II. and the Scotch Presbyterians, 1651         103

  Cris-cross Rhymes on Love's Crosses, 1640              105

  Shrove-tide in Arms against Lent                       107

  Lent tilting at Shrove-tide                            108

  The Queen of James II. and Father Petre                109

  Caricature of Corpulent General Galas                  115

  A Quaker Meeting, 1710                                 116

  Archbishop of Paris                                    118

  Archbishop of Rheims                                   118

  Caricature of Louis XIV., by Thackeray                 119

  "Shares! Shares! Shares!" Caricature of John Law       120

  Island of Madhead                                      122

  Speculative Map of Louisiana                           126

  John Law, Wind Monopolist                              129

  The Sleeping Congregation                              134

  Hogarth's Drawing in Three Strokes                     137

  Hogarth's Invitation Card                              137

  Time Smoking a Picture                                 138

  Dedication of a Proposed History of the Arts           140

  Walpole paring the Nails of the British Lion           142

  Dutch Neutrality, 1745                                 142

  British Idolatry of the Opera-singer Mingotti          143

  The Motion (for the Removal of Walpole)                144

  Antiquaries puzzled                                    146

  Caricature designed by Benjamin Franklin               147

  Lord Bute                                              152

  Princess of Wales--Bute--George III                    152

  The Wire-master (Bute) and his Puppets                 153

  The Gouty Colossus, William Pitt                       156

  The Mask (Coalition)                                   157

  Heads of Fox and North                                 158

  Assembly of the Notables at Paris                      161

  Mirabeau                                               162

  The Dagger Scene in the House of Commons               164

  The Zenith of French Glory                             165

  The Estates                                            166

  The New Calvary                                        166

  President of Revolutionary Committee amusing
    himself with his Art                                 168

  Rare Animals                                           169

  Aristocrat and Democrat                                170

  "_You_ frank! Have confidence in _you_!"               171

  Matrimony--A Man loaded with Mischief                  173

  Settling the Odd Trick                                 174

  "Who was that gentleman that just went out?"           176

  "Now, understand me. To-morrow morning he will
    ask you to dinner"                                   177

  "Madame, your Cousin Betty wishes to know if you
    can receive her"                                     179

  A Scene of Conjugal Life                               180

  A Splendid Spread                                      181

  American Lady walking in the Snow                      183

  "My dear Baron, I am in the most pressing need
    of five hundred franc"                               184

  "Sir, be good enough to come round in front and
    speak to me"                                         185

  "Where are the diamonds exhibited?"                    185

  Evening Scene in the Parlor of an American
    Boarding-house                                       186

  "He's coming! Take off your hat!"                      188

  The Scholastic Hen and her Chickens                    189

  Chinese Caricature of an English Foraging Party        191

  A Deaf Mandarin                                        196

  After Dinner. A Chinese Caricature                     197

  The Rat Rice Merchants. A Japanese Caricature          206

  Talleyrand--the Man with Six Heads                     209

  A Great Man's Last Leap                                210

  Talleyrand                                             211

  A Promenade in the Palais Royal                        213

  Family of the Extinguishers                            214

  The Jesuits at Court                                   215

  Charles Philipon                                       218

  Robert Macaire fishing for Share-holders               221

  A Husband's Dilemma                                    223

  Housekeeping                                           224

  A Poultice for Two                                     226

  Parisian "Shoo, Fly!"                                  227

  Three!                                                 228

  Two Attitudes                                          230

  The Den of Lions at the Opera                          231

  The Vulture                                            233

  Partant pour la Syrie                                  234

  Gavarni                                                236

  Honoré Daumier                                         237

  Evolution of the Piano                                 243

  A Corporal interviewed by the Major                    244

  A Bold Comparison                                      245

  Strict Discipline in the Field                         246

  Ahead of Time                                          247

  A Journeyman's Leave-taking                            248

  After Sedan                                            250

  To the Bull-fight                                      251

  A Delegation of Birds of Prey                          252

  "Child, you will take cold"                            253

  Inconvenience of the New Collar                        254

  Sufferings endured by a Prisoner of War                255

  King Bomba's Ultimatum to Sicily                       259

  He has begun the Service with Mass, and completed
    it with Bombs                                        260

  The Burial of Liberty                                  261

  Bomba at Supper                                        262

  "Such is the Love of Kings"                            263

  Mr. Punch                                              264

  Return of the Pope to Rome                             265

  James Gillray                                          267

  Tiddy-Doll, the Great French Gingerbread Baker         268

  The Threatened Invasion of England                     269

  The Bibliomaniac                                       270

  Hope--A Phrenological Illustration                     271

  Term Time                                              273

  Box in a New York Theatre in 1830                      276

  Seymour's Conception of Mr. Winkle                     278

  Probable Suggestion of the Fat Boy                     280

  A Wedding Breakfast                                    281

  The Boy who chalked up "No Popery!"                    284

  John Leech                                             285

  Preparatory School for Young Ladies                    286

  The Quarrel.--England and France                       287

  Obstructives                                           290

  Jeddo and Belfast; or, a Puzzle for Japan              291

  "At the Church-gate"                                   292

  An Early Quibble                                       294

  John Tenniel                                           295

  Soliloquy of a Rationalistic Chicken                   298

  "I'll follow thee!"                                    299

  Join or Die                                            304

  Boston Massacre Coffins                                306

  A Militia Drill in Massachusetts in 1832               308

  Fight in Congress between Lyon and Griswold            312

  The Gerry-mander                                       316

  Thomas Nast                                            318

  Wholesale and Retail                                   319

  The Brains of the Tammany Ring                         320

  "What are the wild waves saying?"                      321

  Shin-plaster Caricature of General Jackson's War
    on the United States Bank                            322

  City People in a Country Church                        323

  "Why don't you take it?"                               324

  Popular Caricature of the Secession War                325

  Virginia pausing                                       326

  Tweedledee and Sweedledum                              328

  "Who Stole the People's Money?"                        329

  "On to Richmond!"                                      330

  Christmas-time.--Won at a Turkey Raffle                331

  "He cometh not, she said"                              332

[Illustration: Pigmy Pugilists--from Pompeii.]




Much as the ancients differed from ourselves in other particulars, they
certainly laughed at one another just as we do, for precisely the same
reasons, and employed every art, device, and implement of ridicule which
is known to us.

[Illustration: Chalk Drawing by Roman Soldier in Pompeii.]

Observe this rude and childish attempt at a drawing. Go into any boys'
school to-day, and turn over the slates and copy-books, or visit an
inclosure where men are obliged to pass idle days, and you will be
likely to find pictures conceived in this taste, and executed with this
degree of artistic skill. But the drawing dates back nearly eighteen
centuries. It was done on one of the hot, languid days of August, A.D.
79, by a Roman soldier with a piece of red chalk on a wall of his
barracks in the city of Pompeii.[1] On the 23d of August, in the year
79, occurred the eruption of Vesuvius, which buried not Italian cities
only, but Antiquity itself, and, by burying, preserved it for the
instruction of after-times. In disinterred Pompeii, the Past stands
revealed to us, and we remark with a kind of infantile surprise the
great number of particulars in which the people of that day were even
such as we are. There was found the familiar apothecary's shop, with a
box of pills on the counter, and a roll of material that was about to be
made up when the apothecary heard the warning thunder and fled. The
baker's shop remained, with a loaf of bread stamped with the maker's
name. A sculptor's studio was strewed with blocks of marble, unfinished
statues, mallets, compasses, chisels, and saws. A thousand objects
attest that when the fatal eruption burst upon these cities, life and
its activities were going forward in all essential particulars as they
are at this moment in any rich and luxurious town of Southern Europe.

[Footnote 1: "Naples and the Campagna Felice." In a Series of Letters
addressed to a Friend in England, in 1802, p. 104.]

In the building supposed to have been the quarters of the Roman
garrison, many of the walls were covered with such attempts at
caricature as the specimen just given, to some of which were appended
opprobrious epithets and phrases. The name of the personage above
portrayed was Nonius Maximus, who was probably a martinet centurion,
odious to his company, for the name was found in various parts of the
inclosure, usually accompanied by disparaging words. Many of the
soldiers had simply chalked their own names; others had added the number
of their cohort or legion, precisely as in the late war soldiers left
records of their stay on the walls of fort and hospital. A large number
of these wall-chalkings in red, white, and black (most of them in red)
were clearly legible fifty years after exposure. I give another
specimen, a genuine political caricature, copied from an outside wall of
a private house in Pompeii.

[Illustration: Chalk Caricature on a Wall in Pompeii.]

The allusion is to an occurrence in local history of the liveliest
possible interest to the people. A few years before the fatal eruption
there was a fierce town-and-country row in the amphitheatre, in which
the Pompeians defeated and put to flight the provincial Nucerians. Nero
condemned the pugnacious men of Pompeii to the terrible penalty of
closing their amphitheatre for ten years. In the picture an armed man
descends into the arena bearing the palm of victory, while on the other
side a prisoner is dragged away bound. The inscription alone gives us
the key to the street artist's meaning, _Campani victoria una cum
Nucerinis peristis_--"Men of Campania, you perished in the victory not
less than the Nucerians;" as though the patriotic son of Campania had
written, "We beat 'em, but very little we got by it."

If the idlers of the streets chalked caricature on the walls, we can not
be surprised to discover that Pompeian artists delighted in the comic
and burlesque. Comic scenes from the plays of Terence and Plautus, with
the names of the characters written over them, have been found, as well
as a large number of burlesque scenes, in which dwarfs, deformed people,
Pigmies, beasts, and birds are engaged in the ordinary labors of men.
The gay and luxurious people of the buried cities seem to have delighted
in nothing so much as in representations of Pigmies, for there was
scarcely a house in Pompeii yet uncovered which did not exhibit some
trace of the ancient belief in the existence of these little people.
Homer, Aristotle, and Pliny all discourse of the Pigmies as actually
existing, and the artists, availing themselves of this belief, which
they shared, employed it in a hundred ways to caricature the doings of
men of larger growth. Pliny describes them as inhabiting the salubrious
mountainous regions of India, their stature about twenty-seven inches,
and engaged in eternal war with their enemies, the geese. "They say,"
Pliny continues, "that, mounted upon rams and goats, and armed with bows
and arrows, they descend in a body during spring-time to the edge of the
waters, where they eat the eggs and the young of those birds, not
returning to the mountains for three months. Otherwise they could not
resist the ever-increasing multitude of the geese. The Pigmies live in
cabins made of mud, the shells of goose eggs, and feathers of the same

[Illustration: Battle between Pigmies and Geese.]

Homer, in the third book of the "Iliad," alludes to the wars of the
Cranes and Pigmies:

  "So when inclement winters vex the plain
   With piercing frosts, or thick-descending rain,
   To warmer seas the Cranes embodied fly,
   With noise and order through the midway sky;
   To Pigmy nations wounds and death they bring,
   And all the war descends upon the wing."

[Illustration: A Pigmy Scene--from Pompeii.]

One of our engravings shows that not India only, but Egypt also, was
regarded as the haunt of the Pigmy race; for the Upper Nile was then, as
now, the home of the hippopotamus, the crocodile, and the lotus. Here we
see a bald-headed Pigmy hero riding triumphantly on a mighty crocodile,
regardless of the open-mouthed, bellowing hippopotamus behind him. In
other pictures, however, the scaly monster, so far from playing this
submissive part, is seen plunging in fierce pursuit of a Pigmy, who
flies headlong before the foe. Frescoes, vases, mosaics, statuettes,
paintings, and signet-rings found in the ancient cities all attest the
popularity of the little men. The odd pair of vases on the following
page, one in the shape of a boar's head and the other in that of a
ram's, are both adorned with a representation of the fierce combats
between the Pigmies and the geese.

There has been an extraordinary display of erudition in the attempt to
account for the endless repetition of Pigmy subjects in the houses of
the Pompeians; but the learned and acute M. Champfleury "humbly hazards
a conjecture," as he modestly expresses it, which commends itself at
once to general acceptance. He thinks these Pigmy pictures were designed
_to amuse the children_. No conjecture could be less erudite or more
probable. We know, however, as a matter of record, that the walls of
taverns and wine-shops were usually adorned with Pigmy pictures, such
subjects being associated in every mind with pleasure and gayety. It is
not difficult to imagine that a picture of a pugilistic encounter
between Pigmies, like the one given at the head of this chapter, or a
fanciful representation of a combat of Pigmy gladiators, of which many
have been discovered, would be both welcome and suitable as tavern
pictures in the Italian cities of the classic period.

[Illustration: Vases with Pigmy Designs.]

The Pompeians, in common with all the people of antiquity, had a
child-like enjoyment in witnessing representations of animals engaged in
the labors or the sports of human beings. A very large number of
specimens have been uncovered, some of them gorgeous with the hues given
them by masters of coloring eighteen hundred years ago. In the following
cut is a specimen of these--a representation of a grasshopper driving a
chariot, copied in 1802 from a Pompeian work for an English traveler.

[Illustration: A Grasshopper driving a Chariot.]

Nothing can exceed either the brilliancy or the delicacy of the coloring
of this picture in the original, the splendid plumage of the bird and
the bright gold of the chariot shaft and wheel being relieved and
heightened by a gray background and the greenish brown of the course.
The colorists of Pompeii have obviously influenced the taste of
Christendom. There are few houses of pretension decorated within the
last quarter of a century, either in Europe or America, which do not
exhibit combinations and contrasts of color of which the hint was found
in exhumed Pompeii. One or two other small specimens of this kind of
art, selected from a large number accessible, may interest the reader.

[Illustration: From an Antique Amethyst.]

[Illustration: Flight of Æneas from Troy.]

The spirited air of the team of cocks, and the _nonchalant_ professional
attitude of the charioteer, will not escape notice. Perhaps the most
interesting example of this propensity to personify animals which the
exhumed cities have furnished us is a burlesque of a popular picture of
Æneas escaping from Troy, carrying his father, Anchises, on his back,
and leading by the hand his son, Ascanius, the old man carrying the
casket of household gods. No scene could have been more familiar to the
people of Italy than one which exhibited the hero whom they regarded as
the founder of their empire in so engaging a light, and to which the
genius of Virgil had given a deathless charm:

  "Thus ord'ring all that prudence could provide
   I clothe my shoulders with a lion's hide
   And yellow spoils; then on my bending back
   The welcome load of my dear father take;
   While on my better hand Ascanius hung,
   And with unequal paces tripped along."

Artists found a subject in these lines, and of one picture suggested by
them two copies have been found carved upon stone.

[Illustration: Caricature of the Flight of Æneas.]

This device of employing animals' heads upon human bodies is still used
by the caricaturist, so few are the resources of his branch of art; and
we can not deny that it retains a portion of its power to excite
laughter. If we may judge from what has been discovered of the burlesque
art of the ancient nations, we may conclude that this idea, poor as it
seems to us, was the one which the artists of antiquity most frequently
employed. It was also common with them to burlesque familiar paintings,
as in the instance given. It is not unlikely that the cloyed and dainty
taste of the Pompeian connoisseur perceived something ridiculous in the
too-familiar exploit of Father Æneas as represented in serious art,
just as we smile at the theatrical attitudes and costumes in the
picture of "Washington crossing the Delaware." Fancy that work
burlesqued by putting an eagle's head upon the Father of his Country,
filling the boat with magpie soldiers, covering the river with icebergs,
and making the oars still more ludicrously inadequate to the work in
hand than they are in the painting. Thus a caricaturist of Pompeii,
Rome, Greece, Egypt, or Assyria would have endeavored to cast ridicule
upon such a picture.

[Illustration: From a Red Jasper.]

Few events of the last century were more influential upon the progress
of knowledge than the chance discovery of the buried cities, since it
nourished a curiosity respecting the past which could not be confined to
those excavations, and which has since been disclosing antiquity in
every quarter of the globe. We call it a chance discovery, although the
part which accident plays in such matters is more interesting than
important. The digging of a well in 1708 let daylight into the
amphitheatre of Herculaneum, and caused some languid exploration, which
had small results. Forty years later, a peasant at work in a vineyard
five miles from the same spot struck with his hoe something hard, which
was too firmly fixed in the ground to be moved. It proved to be a small
statue of metal, upright, and riveted to a stone pedestal, which was
itself immovably fastened to some solid mass still deeper in the earth.
Where the hoe had struck the statue the metal showed the tempting hue of
gold, and the peasant, after carefully smoothing over the surface,
hurried away with a fragment of it to a goldsmith, intending (so runs
the local gossip) to work this opening as his private gold mine. But as
the metal was pronounced brass, he honestly reported the discovery to a
magistrate, who set on foot an excavation. The statue was found to be a
Minerva, fixed to the centre of a small roof-like dome, and when the
dome was broken through it was seen to be the roof of a temple, of which
the Minerva had been the topmost ornament. And thus was discovered,
about the middle of the last century, the ancient city of Pompeii,
buried by a storm of light ashes from Vesuvius sixteen hundred and
seventy years before.

[Illustration: Roman Masks, Comic and Tragic.]

It was not the accident, but the timeliness of the accident, which made
it important; for there never could have been an excavation fifteen feet
deep over the site of Pompeii without revealing indications of the
buried city. But the time was then ripe for an exploration. It had
become possible to excite a general curiosity in a Past exhumed; and
such a curiosity is a late result of culture: it does not exist in a
dull or in an ignorant mind. And this curiosity, nourished and inflamed
as it was by the brilliant and marvelous things brought to light in
Pompeii and Herculaneum, has sought new gratification wherever a heap
of ruins betrayed an ancient civilization. It looks now as if many of
the old cities of the world are in layers or strata--a new London upon
an old London, and perhaps a London under that--a city three or four
deep, each the record of an era. Two Romes we familiarly know, one of
which is built in part upon the other; and at Cairo we can see the
process going on by which some ancient cities were buried without
volcanic aid. The dirt of the unswept streets, never removed, has raised
the grade of Cairo from age to age.

[Illustration: A Roman Comic Actor masked for the Part of Silenus.]

The excavations at Rome, so rich in results, were not needed to prove
that to the Romans of old caricature was a familiar thing. The mere
magnitude of their theatres, and their habit of performing plays in the
open air, compelled caricature, the basis of which is exaggeration.
Actors, both comic and tragic, wore masks of very elaborate
construction, made of resonant metal, and so shaped as to serve, in some
degree, the office of a speaking-trumpet. In the engravings on this page
are represented a pair of masks such as were worn by Roman actors
throughout the empire, of which many specimens have been found.

If the reader has ever visited the Coliseum at Rome, or even one of the
large hippodromes of Paris or New York, and can imagine the attempts of
an actor to exhibit comic or tragic effects of countenance or of vocal
utterance across spaces so extensive, he will readily understand the
necessity of such masks as these. The art of acting could only have been
developed in small theatres. In the open air or in the uncovered
amphitheatre all must have been vociferation and caricature. Observe
the figure of old Silenus, on preceding page, one of the chief
mirth-makers of antiquity, who lives for us in the Old Man of the
pantomime. He is masked for the theatre.

The legend of Silenus is itself an evidence of the tendency of the
ancients to fall into caricature. To the Romans he was at once the
tutor, the comrade, and the butt of jolly Bacchus. He discoursed wisdom
and made fun. He was usually represented as an old man, bald,
flat-nosed, half drunk, riding upon a broad-backed ass, or reeling along
by the aid of a staff, uttering shrewd maxims and doing ludicrous acts.
People wonder that the pantomime called "Humpty Dumpty" should be played
a thousand nights in New York; but the substance of all that boisterous
nonsense, that exhibition of rollicking freedom from restraints of law,
usage, and gravitation, has amused mankind for unknown thousands of
years; for it is merely what remains to us of the legendary Bacchus and
his jovial crew. We observe, too, that the great comic books, such as
"Gil Blas," "Don Quixote," "Pickwick," and others, are most effective
when the hero is most like Bacchus, roaming over the earth with merry
blades, delightfully free from the duties and conditions which make
bondmen of us all. Mr. Dickens may never have thought of it--and he
_may_--but there is much of the charm of the ancient Bacchic legends in
the narrative of the four Pickwickians and Samuel Weller setting off on
the top of a coach, and meeting all kinds of gay and semi-lawless
adventures in country towns and rambling inns. Even the ancient
distribution of characters is hinted at. With a few changes, easily
imagined, the irrepressible Sam might represent Bacchus, and his master
bring to mind the sage and comic Silenus. Nothing is older than our
modes of fun. Even in seeking the origin of Punch, investigators lose
themselves groping in the dim light of the most remote antiquity.

How readily the Roman satirists ran into caricature all their readers
know, except those who take the amusing exaggerations of Juvenal and
Horace as statements of fact. During the heat of our antislavery
contest, Dryden's translation of the passage in Juvenal which pictures
the luxurious Roman lady ordering her slave to be put to death was used
by the late Mr. W. H. Fry, in the New York _Tribune_, with thrilling

  "Go drag that slave to death! You reason, Why
   Should the poor innocent be doomed to die?
   What proofs? For, when man's life is in debate,
   The judge can ne'er too long deliberate.
   Call'st thou that slave a man? the wife replies.
   Proved or unproved the crime, the villain dies.
   I have the sovereign power to save or kill,
   And give no other reason but my will."

This is evidently caricature. Not only is the whole of Juvenal's sixth
satire a series of the broadest exaggerations, but with regard to this
particular passage we have evidence of its burlesque character in Horace
(Satire III., Book I.), where, wishing to give an example of impossible
folly, he says, "If a man should crucify a slave for eating some of the
fish which he had been ordered to take away, people in their senses
would call him a madman." Juvenal exhibits the Roman matron of his
period undergoing the dressing of her hair, giving the scene the same
unmistakable character of caricature:

  "She hurries all her handmaids to the task;
   Her head alone will twenty dressers ask.
   Psecas, the chief, with breast and shoulders bare,
   Trembling, considers every sacred hair:
   If any straggler from his rank be found,
   A pinch must for the mortal sin compound.

  "With curls on curls they build her head, before,
   And mount it with a formidable tower.
   A giantess she seems; but look behind,
   And then she dwindles to the Pigmy kind.
   Duck-legged, short-waisted, such a dwarf she is
   That she must rise on tiptoe for a kiss.
   Meanwhile her husband's whole estate is spent;
   He may go bare, while she receives his rent."

The spirit of caricature speaks in these lines. There are passages of
Horace, too, in reading which the picture forms itself before the mind;
and the poet supplies the very words which caricaturists usually employ
to make their meaning more obvious. In the third satire of the second
book a caricature is exhibited to the mind's eye without the
intervention of pencil. We see the miser Opimius, "poor amid his hoards
of gold," who has starved himself into a lethargy; his heir is scouring
his coffers in triumph; but the doctor devises a mode of rousing his
patient. He orders a table to be brought into the room, upon which he
causes the hidden bags of money to be poured out, and several persons to
draw near as if to count it. Opimius revives at this maddening
spectacle, and the doctor urges him to strengthen himself by generous
food, and so balk his rapacious heir. "Do you hesitate?" cries the
doctor. "Come, now, take this preparation of rice." "How much did it
cost?" asks the miser. "Only a trifle." "But how much?" "Eightpence."
Opimius, appalled at the price, whimpers, "Alas! what does it matter
whether I die of a disease, or by plunder and extortion?" Many similar
examples will arrest the eye of one who turns over the pages of this
master of satire.

The great festival of the Roman year, the Saturnalia, which occurred in
the latter half of December, we may almost say was consecrated to
caricature, so fond were the Romans of every kind of ludicrous
exaggeration. This festival, the merry Christmas of the Roman world,
gave to the Christian festival many of its enlivening observances.
During the Saturnalia the law courts and schools were closed; there was
a general interchange of presents, and universal feasting; there were
fantastic games, processions of masked figures in extravagant costumes,
and religious sacrifices. For three days the slaves were not merely
exempt from labor, but they enjoyed freedom of speech, even to the
abusing of their masters. In one of his satires, Horace gives us an
idea of the manner in which slaves burlesqued their lords at this jocund
time. He reports some of the remarks of his own slave, Davus, upon
himself and his poetry. Davus, it is evident, had discovered the
histrionic element in literature, and pressed it home upon his master.
"You praise the simplicity of the ancient Romans; but if any god were to
reduce you to their condition, you, the same man that wrote those fine
things, would beg to be let off. At Rome you long for the country; and
when you are in the country, you praise the distant city to the skies.
When you are not invited out to supper, you extol your homely repast at
home, and hug yourself that you are not obliged to drink with any body
abroad. As if you ever went out upon compulsion! But let Mæcenas send
you an invitation for early lamp-light, _then_ what do we hear? _Will no
one bring the oil quicker? Does any body hear me?_ You bellow and storm
with fury. You bought me for five hundred drachmas, but what if it turns
out that you are the greater fool of the two?" And thus the astute and
witty Davus continues to ply his master with taunts and jeers and wise
saws, till Horace, in fury, cries out, "Where can I find a stone?" Davus
innocently asks, "What need is there here of such a thing as a stone?"
"Where can I get some javelins?" roars Horace. Upon which Davus quietly
remarks, "This man is either mad or making verses." Horace ends the
colloquy by saying, "If you do not this instant take yourself off, I'll
make a field-hand of you on my Sabine estate!"

[Illustration: Roman Wall Caricature of a Christian.]

That Roman satirists employed the pencil and the brush as well as the
stylus, and employed them freely and constantly, we should have surmised
if the fact had not been discovered. Most of the caricatures of passing
events speedily perish in all countries, because the materials usually
employed in them are perishable. To preserve so slight a thing as a
chalk sketch on a wall for eighteen centuries, accident must lend a
hand, as it has in the instance now given.

This picture was found in 1857 upon the wall of a narrow Roman street,
which was closed up and shut out from the light of day about A.D. 100,
to facilitate an extension of the imperial palace. The wall when
uncovered was found scratched all over with rude caricature drawings in
the style of the specimen given. This one immediately arrested
attention, and the part of the wall on which it was drawn was carefully
removed to the Collegio Romano, in the museum of which it may now be
inspected. The Greek words scrawled upon the picture may be translated
thus: "Alexamenos is worshiping his god."

These words sufficiently indicate that the picture was aimed at some
member, to us unknown, of the despised sect of the Christians. It is the
only allusion to Christianity which has yet been found upon the walls of
the Italian cities; but it is extremely probable that the street artists
found in the strange usages of the Christians a very frequent subject.

We know well what the educated class of the Romans thought of the
Christians, when they thought of them at all. They regarded them as a
sect of extremely absurd Jews, insanely obstinate, and wholly
contemptible. If the professors and students of Harvard and Yale should
read in the papers that a new sect had arisen among the Mormons, more
eccentric and ridiculous even than the Mormons themselves, the
intelligence would excite in their minds about the same feeling that the
courtly scholars of the Roman Empire manifest when they speak of the
early Christians. Nothing astonished them so much as their "obstinacy."
"A man," says the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, "ought to be ready to die
when the time comes; but this readiness should be the result of a calm
judgment, and not be an exhibition of mere obstinacy, as with the
Christians." The younger Pliny, too, in his character of magistrate, was
extremely perplexed with this same obstinacy. He tells us that when
people were brought before him charged with being Christians, he asked
them the question, Are you a Christian? If they said they were, he
repeated it twice, threatening them with punishment; and if they
persisted, he ordered them to be punished. If they denied the charge, he
put them to the proof by requiring them to repeat after him an
invocation to the gods, and to offer wine and incense to the emperor's
statue. Some of the accused, he says, reviled Christ; and this he
regarded as a sure proof of innocence, for people told him there was no
forcing real Christians to do an act of that nature. Some of the accused
owned that they had been Christians once, three years ago or more, and
some twenty years ago, but had returned to the worship of the gods.
These, however, declared that, after all, there was no great offense in
being Christians. They had merely met on a regular day before dawn,
addressed a form of prayer to Christ as to a divinity, and bound
themselves by a solemn oath not to commit fraud, theft, or other immoral
act, nor break their word, nor betray a trust; after which they used to
separate, then re-assemble, and eat together a harmless meal.

All this seemed innocent enough; but Pliny was not satisfied. "I judged
it necessary," he writes to the emperor, "to try to get at the real
truth by putting to the torture two female slaves who were said to
officiate at their religious rites; but all I could discover was
evidence of an absurd and extravagant superstition." So he refers the
whole matter to the emperor, telling him that the "contagion" is not
confined to the cities, but has spread into the villages and into the
country. Still, he thought it could be checked: nay, it _had_ been
checked; for the temples, which had been almost abandoned, were
beginning to be frequented again, and there was also "a general demand
for victims for sacrifice, which till lately had found few purchasers."
The wise Trajan approved the course of his representative. He tells him,
however, not to go out of his way to look for Christians; but if any
were brought before him, why, of course he must inflict the penalty
unless they proved their innocence by invoking the gods. The remains of
Roman literature have nothing so interesting for us as these two letters
of Pliny and Trajan of the year 103. We may rest assured that the walls
of every Roman town bore testimony to the contempt and aversion in which
the Christians were held, particularly by those who dealt in "victims"
and served the altars--a very numerous and important class throughout
the ancient world.



Greece was the native home of all that we now call art. Upon looking
over the two hundred pages of art gossip in the writings of the elder
Pliny, most of which relates to Greece, we are ready to ask, Is there
one thing in painting or drawing, one school, device, style, or method,
known to us which was not familiar to the Greeks? They had their
Landseers--men great in dogs and all animals; they had artists renowned
in the "Dutch style" ages before the Dutch ceased to be
amphibious--artists who painted barber-shop interiors to a hair, and
donkeys eating cabbages correct to a fibre; they had cattle pieces as
famous throughout the classic world as Rosa Bonheur's "Horse Fair" is
now in ours; they had Rosa Bonheurs of their own--famous women, a list
of whose names Pliny gives; they had portrait-painters too good to be
fashionable, and portrait-painters too fashionable to be good; they had
artists who excelled in flesh, others great in form, others excellent in
composition; they took plaster casts of dead faces; they had varnishers
and picture-cleaners. Noted pictures were spoken of as having lost their
charm through an unskillful cleaner. They had their "life school," and
used it as artists now do, borrowing from each model her special beauty.
Zeuxis, as Pliny records, was so scrupulously careful in the execution
of a religious painting that "he had the young maidens of the place
stripped for examination, and selected five of them, in order to adopt
in his picture the most commendable points in the form of each." And we
may be sure that every maiden of them felt it to be an honor thus to
contribute perfection to a Juno, executed by the first artist of the
world, which was to adorn the temple of her native city.

They _played_ with art as men are apt to play with the implements of
which they are masters. Sosus, the great artist in mosaics, executed at
Pergamus the pavement of a banqueting-room which presented the
appearance of a floor strewed with crumbs, fragments and scraps of a
feast, not yet swept away. It was renowned as the "Unswept Hall of
Pergamus." And what a pleasing story is that of the contest between
Zeuxis and his rival, Parrhasius! On the day of trial Zeuxis hung in the
place of exhibition a painting of grapes, and Parrhasius a picture of a
curtain. Some birds flew to the grapes of Zeuxis, and began to pick at
them. The artist, overjoyed at so striking a proof of his success,
turned haughtily to his rival, and demanded that the curtain should be
drawn aside and the picture revealed. But the curtain _was_ the
picture. He owned himself surpassed, since he had only deceived birds,
but Parrhasius had deceived Zeuxis.

[Illustration: Burlesque of Jupiter's Wooing of the Princess Alcmena.]

Could comic artists and caricaturists be wanting in Athens? Strange to
say, it was the gods and goddesses whom the caricaturists of Greece as
well as the comic writers chiefly selected for ridicule. All their works
have perished except a few specimens preserved upon pottery. We show one
from a Greek vase, a rude burlesque of one of Jupiter's love adventures,
the father of gods and men being accompanied by a Mercury ludicrously
unlike the light and agile messenger of the gods. The story goes that
the Princess Alcmena, though betrothed to a lover, vowed her hand to the
man who should avenge her slaughtered brothers. Jupiter assumed the form
and face of the lover, and, pretending to have avenged her brothers'
death, gained admittance. Pliny describes a celebrated burlesque
painting of the birth of Bacchus from Jupiter's thigh, in which the god
of the gods was represented wearing a woman's cap, in a highly
ridiculous posture, crying out, and surrounded by goddesses in the
character of midwives. The best specimen of Greek caricature that has
come down to us burlesques no less serious a theme than the great oracle
of Apollo at Delphos, given on page 30.

This remarkable work owes its preservation to the imperishable nature of
the material on which it was executed. It was copied from a large vessel
used by the Greeks and Romans for holding vinegar, a conspicuous object
upon their tables, and therefore inviting ornament. What audacity to
burlesque an oracle to which kings and conquerors humbly repaired for
direction, and which all Greece held in awe! Croesus propitiated this
oracle by the gift of a solid golden lion as large as life, and the
Phocians found in its coffers, and carried off, a sum equal to nearly
eleven millions of dollars in gold. Such was the general belief in its
divine inspiration! But in this picture we see the oracle, the god, and
those who consult them, all exhibited in the broadest burlesque: Apollo
as a quack doctor on his platform, with bag, bow, and cap; Chiron, old
and blind, struggling up the steps to consult him, aided by Apollo at
his head and a friend pushing behind; the nymphs surveying the scene
from the heights of Parnassus; and the manager of the spectacle, who
looks on from below. How strange is this!

But the Greek literature is also full of this wild license. Lucian
depicts the gods in council ludicrously discussing the danger they were
in from the philosophers. Jupiter says, "If men are once persuaded that
there are no gods, or, if there are gods, that we take no care of human
affairs, we shall have no more gifts or victims from them, but may sit
and starve on Olympus without festivals, holidays, sacrifices, or any
pomp or ceremonies whatever." The whole debate is in this manner, and is
at the same time a burlesque of the political discussions at the
Athenian mass-meetings. What can be more ludicrous than the story of
Mercury visiting Athens in disguise in order to discover the estimation
in which he was held among mortals? He enters the shop of a dealer in
images, where he inquires the price first of a Jupiter, then of an
Apollo, and, lastly, with a blush, of a Mercury. "Oh," says the dealer,
"if you take the Jupiter and the Apollo, I will throw the Mercury in."

[Illustration: Greek Caricature of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphos.]

Nor did the witty, rollicking Greeks confine their satire to the
immortals. Of the famous mirth-provokers of the world, such as
Cervantes, Ariosto, Molière, Rabelais, Sterne, Voltaire, Thackeray,
Dickens, the one that had most power to produce mere physical laughter,
power to shake the sides and cause people to roll helpless upon the
floor, was the Greek dramatist Aristophanes. The force of the comic can
no farther go than he has carried it in some of the scenes of his best
comedies. Even to us, far removed as we are, in taste as well as in
time, from that wonderful Athens of his, they are still irresistibly
diverting. This master of mirth is never so effective as when he is
turning into ridicule the philosophers and poets for whose sake Greece
is still a dear, venerable name to all the civilized world. In his
comedy of "The Frogs" he sends Bacchus down into Hades with every
circumstance of riotous burlesque, and there he exhibits the two great
tragic poets, Æschylus and Euripides, standing opposite each other, and
competing for the tragic throne by reciting verses in which the
mannerism of each, as well as familiar passages of their plays, is
broadly burlesqued. Nothing in literature can be found more ludicrous or
less becoming, unless we look for it in Aristophanes himself. In his
play of "The Clouds" occurs his caricature of Socrates, of infinite
absurdity, but not ludicrous to us, because we read it as part of the
story of a sublime and affecting martyrdom. It fills our minds with
wonder to think that a people among whom a Socrates could have been
formed could have borne to see him thus profaned. A rogue of a father,
plagued by an extravagant son, repairs to the school of Socrates to
learn the arts by which creditors are argued out of their just claims in
courts of justice. Upon reaching the place, the door of the "Thinking
Shop" opens, and behold! a caricature all ready for the artist's pencil.
The pupils are discovered with their heads fixed to the floor, their
backs uppermost, and Socrates hanging from the ceiling in a basket. The
visitor, transfixed with wonder, questions his companion. He asks why
they present that portion of their bodies to heaven. "It is getting
taught astronomy alone by itself." "And who is this man in the basket?"
"HIMSELF." "Who's Himself?" "Socrates!" The visitor at length addresses
the master by a diminutive, as though he had said, "Socrates, dear
little Socrates." The philosopher speaks: "Why callest thou me, thou
creature of a day?" "Tell me, first, I beg, what you are doing up
there." "I am walking in the air, and speculating about the sun; for I
should never have rightly learned celestial things if I had not
suspended the intellect, and subtly mingled Thought with its kindred
Air." All this is in the very spirit of caricature. Half of Aristophanes
is caricature. In characterizing the light literature of Greece we are
reminded of Juvenal's remark upon the Greek people, "All Greece is a



Egyptian art was old when Grecian art was young, and it remained crude
when the art of Greece had reached its highest development. But not the
less did it delight in caricature and burlesque. In the Egyptian
collection belonging to the New York Historical Society there is a
specimen of the Egyptians' favorite kind of burlesque picture which
dates back three thousand years, but which stands out more clearly now
upon its slab of limestone than we can engrave it here.

[Illustration: An Egyptian Caricature.]

Dr. Abbott, who brought this specimen from Thebes, interpreted it to be
a representation of a lion seated upon a throne, as king, receiving from
a fox, personating a high-priest, an offering of a goose and a fan. It
is probably a burlesque of a well-known picture; for in one of the
Egyptian papyri in the British Museum there is a drawing of a lion and
unicorn playing chess, which is a manifest caricature of a picture
frequently repeated upon the ancient monuments. It was from Egypt, then,
that the classic nations caught this childish fancy of ridiculing the
actions of men by picturing animals performing similar ones; and it is
surprising to note how fond the Egyptian artists were of this simple
device. On the same papyrus there are several other interesting
specimens: a lion on his hind-legs engaged in laying out as a mummy the
dead body of a hoofed animal; a tiger or wild cat driving a flock of
geese to market; another tiger carrying a hoe on one shoulder and a bag
of seed on the other; an animal playing on a double pipe, and driving
before him a herd of small stags, like a shepherd; a hippopotamus
washing his hands in a tall water-jar; an animal on a throne, with
another behind him as a fan-bearer, and a third presenting him with a
bouquet. No place was too sacred for such playful delineations. In one
of the royal sepulchres at Thebes, as Kenrick relates, there is a
picture of an ass and a lion singing, accompanying themselves on the
phorminx and the harp. There is also an elaborate burlesque of a battle
piece, in which a fortress is attacked by rats, and defended by cats,
which are visible on the battlements. Some rats bring a ladder to the
walls and prepare to scale them, while others, armed with spears,
shields, and bows, protect the assailants. One rat of enormous size, in
a chariot drawn by dogs, has pierced several cats with arrows, and is
swinging round his battle-axe in exact imitation of Rameses, in a
serious picture, dealing destruction on his enemies. On a papyrus at
Turin there is a representation of a cat with a shepherd's crook
watching a flock of geese, while a cynocephalus near by plays upon the
flute. Of this class of burlesques the most interesting example,
perhaps, is the one annexed, representing a Soul doomed to return to its
earthly home in the form of a pig.

[Illustration: A Condemned Soul, Egyptian Caricature.]

This picture, which is of such antiquity that it was an object of
curiosity to the Romans and the Greeks, is part of the decoration of a
king's tomb. In the original, Osiris, the august judge of departed
spirits, is represented on his throne, near the stern of the boat,
waving away the Soul, which he has just weighed in his unerring scales
and found wanting; while close to the shore a man hews away the ground,
to intimate that all communication is cut off between the lost spirit
and the abode of the blessed. The animals that execute the stern decree
are the dog-headed monkeys, sacred in the mythology of Egypt.

[Illustration: Egyptian Servants conveying Home their Masters from a

That the ancient Egyptians were a jovial people who sat long at the
wine, we might infer from the caricatures which have been discovered in
Egypt, if we did not know it from other sources of information.
Representations have been found of every part of the process of
wine-making, from the planting of the vineyard to the storing-away of
the wine-jars. In the valuable works of Sir Gardner Wilkinson[2] many of
these curious pictures are given: the vineyard and its trellis-work; men
frightening away the birds with slings; a vineyard with a water-tank for
irrigation; the grape harvest; baskets full of grapes covered with
leaves; kids browsing upon the vines; trained monkeys gathering grapes;
the wine-press in operation; men pressing grapes by the natural process
of treading; pouring the wine into jars; and rows of jars put away for
future use. The same laborious author favors us with ancient Egyptian
caricatures which serve to show that wine was a creature as capable of
abuse thirty centuries ago as it is now.

[Footnote 2: "A Popular Account of the Ancient Egyptians," by Sir J.
Gardner Wilkinson, 2 vols., Harper & Brothers, 1854.]

Pictures of similar character are not unfrequent upon the ancient
frescoes, and many of them are far more extravagant than this,
exhibiting men dancing wildly, standing upon their heads, and riotously
fighting. From Sir Gardner Wilkinson's disclosures we may reasonably
infer that the arts of debauchery have received little addition during
the last three thousand years. Even the seductive cocktail is not
modern. The ancient Egyptians imbibed stimulants to excite an appetite
for wine, and munched the biting cabbage-leaf for the same purpose. Beer
in several varieties was known to them also; veritable beer, made of
barley and a bitter herb; beer so excellent that the dainty Greek
travelers commended it as a drink only inferior to wine. Even the
Egyptian ladies did not always resist the temptation of so many modes of
intoxication. Nor did they escape the caricaturist's pencil.

[Illustration: Too Late with the Basin.]

This unfortunate lady, as Sir Gardner conjectures, after indulging in
potations deep of the renowned Egyptian wine, had been suddenly
overtaken by the consequences, and had called for assistance too late.
Egyptian satirists did not spare the ladies, and they aimed their shafts
at the same foibles that have called forth so many efforts of pencil and
pen in later times. Whenever, indeed, we look closely into ancient life,
we are struck with the similarity of the daily routine to that of our
own time. Every detail of social existence is imperishably recorded upon
the monuments of ancient Egypt, even to the tone and style and mishaps
of a fashionable party. We see the givers of the entertainment, the
master and mistress of the mansion, seated side by side upon a sofa; the
guests coming up as they arrive to salute them; the musicians and
dancers bowing low to them before beginning to perform; a pet monkey, a
dog, or a gazelle tied to the leg of the sofa; the youngest child of the
family sitting on the floor by its mother's side, or upon its father's
knee; the ladies sitting in groups, conversing upon the deathless,
inexhaustible subject of dress, and showing one another their trinkets.

Sir Gardner Wilkinson gives us also the pleasing information that it was
thought a pretty compliment for one guest to offer another a flower from
his bouquet, and that the guests endeavored to gratify their
entertainers by pointing out to one another, with expressions of
admiration, the tasteful knickknacks, the boxes of carved wood or ivory,
the vases, the elegant light tables, the chairs, ottomans, cushions,
carpets, and furniture with which the apartment was provided. This too
transparent flattery could not escape such inveterate caricaturists as
the Egyptian artists. In a tomb at Thebes may be seen a ludicrous
representation of scenes at a party where several of the guests had been
lost in rapturous admiration of the objects around them. A young man,
either from awkwardness or from having gone too often to the wine-jar,
had reclined against a wooden column placed in the centre of the room to
support a temporary ornament. There is a crash! The ornamental structure
falls upon some of the absorbed guests. Ladies have recourse to the
immortal privilege of their sex--they scream. All is confusion. Uplifted
hands ward off the falling masses. In a few moments, when it is
discovered that no one is hurt, peace is restored, and all the company
converse merrily over the incident.

It is strange to find such pictures in a tomb. But it seems as if death
and funerals and graves, with their elaborate paraphernalia, were
provocative of mirthful delineation. In one noted royal tomb there is a
representation of the funeral procession, part of which was evidently
designed to excite merriment. The Ethiopians who follow in the train of
the mourning queen have their hair plaited in most fantastic fashion,
and their tunics of leopard's skin are so arranged that a preposterously
enormous tail hangs down behind for the next man to step upon. One of
the extensive colored plates of Sir Gardner Wilkinson's larger work
presents to our view a solemn and stately procession of funeral barges
crossing the Lake of the Dead at Thebes on its way to the place of
burial. The first boat contains the coffin, decorated with flowers, a
high-priest burning incense before a table of offerings, and the female
relatives of the deceased lamenting their loss; two barges are filled
with mourning friends, one containing only women and the other only men;
two more are occupied by professional persons--the undertaker's
assistants, as we should call them--employed to carry offerings, boxes,
chairs, and other funeral objects. It was in drawing one of these
vessels that the artist could not refrain from putting in a little fun.
One of the barges having grounded upon the shore, the vessel behind
comes into collision with her, upsetting a table upon the oarsmen and
causing much confusion. It is not improbable that the picture records an
incident of that particular funeral.



If we go farther back into antiquity, it is India which first arrests
and longest absorbs our attention--India, fecund mother of tradition,
the source of almost all the rites, beliefs, and observances of the
ancient nations. When we visit the collections of the India House, the
British Museum, the Mission Rooms, or turn over the startling pages of
"The Hindu Pantheon" of Major Edward Moor, we are ready to exclaim, Here
_all_ is caricature! This brazen image, for example, of a partly naked
man with an elephant's head and trunk, seated upon a huge rat, and
feeding himself with his trunk from a bowl held in his hand--surely this
is caricature. By no means. It is an image of the most popular of the
Hindoo deities--Ganesa, god of prudence and policy, invoked at the
beginning of all enterprises, and over whose head is written the sacred
word _Aum_, never uttered by a Hindoo except with awe and veneration. If
a man begins to build a house, he calls on Ganesa, and sets up an image
of him near the spot. Mile-stones are fashioned in his likeness, and he
serves as the road-side god, even if the pious peasants who place him
where two roads cross can only afford the rudest resemblance to an
elephant's head daubed with oil and red ochre. Rude as it may be, a
passing traveler will occasionally hang upon it a wreath of flowers.
Major Moor gives us a hideous picture of Maha-Kala, with huge mouth and
enormous protruding tongue, squat, naked, upon the ground, and holding
up a large sword. This preposterous figure is still farther removed from
the burlesque. It is the Hindoo mode of representing _Eternity_, whose
vast insatiate maw devours men, cities, kingdoms, and will at length
swallow the universe; then all the crowd of inferior deities, and
finally _itself_, leaving only _Brahm_, the One Eternal, to inhabit the
infinite void. Hundreds of such revolting crudities meet the eye in
every extensive Indian collection.

But the element of fun and burlesque is not wanting in the Hindoo
Pantheon. Krishna is the jolly Bacchus, the Don Juan, of the Indian
deities. Behold him on his travels mounted upon an elephant, which is
formed of the bodies of the obliging damsels who accompany him!

[Illustration: The Hindoo God Krishna on his Travels.]

There is no end to the tales related of the mischievous, jovial,
irrepressible Krishna. The ladies who go with him everywhere, a
countless multitude, are so accommodating as to wreathe and twist
themselves into the form of any creature he may wish to ride; sometimes
into that of a horse, sometimes into that of a bird.

[Illustration: Krishna's Attendants assuming the Form of a Bird.]

In other pictures he appears riding in a palanquin, which is likewise
composed of girls, and the bearers are girls also. In the course of one
adventure, being in great danger from the wrath of his numerous enemies,
he created an enormous snake, in whose vast interior his flocks, his
herds, his followers, and himself found refuge. At a festival held in
his honor, which was attended by a great number of damsels, he suddenly
appeared in the midst of the company and proposed a dance; and, that
each of them might be provided with a partner, he divided himself into
as many complete and captivating Krishnas as there were ladies. One
summer, when he was passing the hot season on the sea-shore with his
retinue of ladies, his musical comrade, Nareda, hinted to him that,
since he had such a multitude of wives, it would be no great stretch of
generosity to spare one to a poor musician who had no wife at all.
"Court any one you please," said the merry god. So Nareda went wooing
from house to house, but in every house he found Krishna perfectly
domesticated, the ever-attentive husband, and the lady quite sure that
she had him all to herself. Nareda continued his quest until he had
visited precisely sixteen thousand and eight houses, in each and all of
which, at one and the same time, Krishna was the established lord. Then
he gave it up. One of the pictures which illustrate the endless
biography of this entertaining deity represents him going through the
ceremony of marriage with a bear, both squatting upon a carpet in the
prescribed attitude, the bear grinning satisfaction, two bears in
attendance standing on their hind-feet, and two priests blessing the
union. This picture is more spirited, is more like art, than any other
yet copied from Hindoo originals.

[Illustration: Krishna in his Palanquin.]

To this day, as the missionaries report, the people of India are
excessively addicted to every kind of jesting which is within their
capacity, and delight especially in all the monstrous comicalities of
their mythology. No matter how serious an impression a speaker may have
made upon a village group, let him but use a word in a manner which
suggests a ludicrous image or ridiculous pun, and the assembly at once
breaks up in laughter, not to be gathered again.

In late years, those of the inhabitants of India who read the language
of their conquerors have had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with
their humor. Wherever a hundred English officers are gathered, there is
the possibility of an illustrated comic periodical, and, accordingly, we
find one such in several of the garrisoned places held by the English in
remote parts of the world. Calcutta, as the _Athenæum_ informs us, "has
its _Punch_, or Indian _Charivari_," which is not unworthy of its
English namesake.



Mr. Robert Tomes, American consul, a few years ago, at the French city
of Rheims, describes very agreeably the impression made upon his mind by
the grand historic cathedral of that ancient place.[3] Filled with a
sense of the majestic presence of the edifice, he approached one of the
chief portals, to find it crusted with a most uncouth semi-burlesque
representation, cut in stone, of the Last Judgment. The trump has
sounded, and the Lord from a lofty throne is pronouncing doom upon the
risen as they are brought up to the judgment-seat by the angels. Below
him are two rows of the dead just rising from their graves, extending to
the full width of the great door. Upon many of the faces there is an
expression of amazement, which the artist apparently designed to be
comic, and several of the attitudes are extremely absurd and ludicrous.
Some have managed to push off the lid of their tombs a little way, and
are peeping out through the narrow aperture, others have just got their
heads above the surface of the ground, and others are sitting up in
their graves; some have one leg out, some are springing into the air,
and some are running, as if in wild fright, for their lives. Though the
usual expression upon the faces is one of astonishment, yet this is
varied. Some are rubbing their eyes as if startled from a deep sleep,
but not yet aware of the cause of alarm; others are utterly bewildered,
and hesitate to leave their resting-place; some leap out in mad
excitement, and others hurry off as if fearing to be again consigned to
the tomb. An angel is leading a cheerful company of popes, bishops, and
kings toward the Saviour, while a hideous demon, with a mouth stretching
from ear to ear, is dragging off a number of the condemned toward the
devil, who is seen stirring up a huge caldron boiling and bubbling with
naked babies, dead before baptism. On another part of the wall is a
carved representation of the vices which led to the destruction of Sodom
and Gomorrah. These were so monstrously obscene that the authorities of
the cathedral, in deference to the modern sense of decency, have caused
them to be partly cut away by the chisel.

[Footnote 3: "The Champagne Country," p. 34, by Robert Tomes, London,

The first cut on the next page is an example of burlesque ornament. The
artist apparently intended to indicate another termination of the
interview than the one recorded by Æsop between the wolf and the stork.
The old cathedral at Strasburg, destroyed a hundred years ago, was long
renowned for its sculptured burlesques. We give two of several capitals
exhibiting the sacred rites of the Church travestied by animals.

[Illustration: Capital in the Autun Cathedral.]

It marks the change in the feelings and manners of men that, three
hundred years after those Strasburg capitals were carved, with the
sanction of the chapter, a book-seller, for only exhibiting an engraving
of some of them in his shop window, was convicted of having committed a
crime "most scandalous and injurious to religion." His sentence was "to
make the _amende honorable_, naked to his shirt, a rope round his neck,
holding in his hand a lighted wax-candle weighing two pounds, before the
principal door of the cathedral, whither he will be conducted by the
executioner, and there, on his knees, with uncovered head," confess his
fault and ask pardon of God and the king. The pictures were to be burned
before his eyes, and then, after paying all the costs of the
prosecution, he was to go into eternal banishment.

[Illustration: Capitals in the Strasburg Cathedral, A.D. 1300.]

Other American consuls besides Mr. Tomes, and multitudes of American
citizens not so fortunate as to study mediæval art at their country's
expense, have been profoundly puzzled by this crust of crude burlesque
on ecclesiastical architecture. The objects in Europe which usually give
to a susceptible American his first and his last rapture are the
cathedrals, those venerable enigmas, the glory and shame of the Middle
Ages, which present so complete a contrast to the toy-temples, new,
cabinet-finished, upholstered, sofa-seated, of American cities, not to
mention the consecrated barns, white-painted and treeless, of the rural
districts. And the cathedrals are a contrast to every thing in Europe
also, if only from their prodigious magnitude. A cathedral town
generally stands in a valley, through which a small river winds. When
the visitor from any of the encompassing hills gets his first view of
the compact little city, the cathedral looms up in the midst thereof so
vast, so tall, that the disproportion to the surrounding structures is
sometimes even ludicrous, like a huge black elephant with a flock of
small brown sheep huddling about its feet. But when at last the stranger
stands in its shadow, he finds the spell of its presence irresistible;
and it is a spell which the lapse of time not unfrequently strengthens,
till he is conscious of a tender, strong attachment to the edifice,
which leads him to visit it at unusual times, to try the effect upon it
of moonlight, of storm, of dawn and twilight, of mist, rain, and snow.
He finds himself going to it for solace and rest. On setting out upon a
journey, he makes a détour to get another last look, and, returning,
goes, valise in hand, to see his cathedral before he sees his
companions. Many American consuls have had this experience, have truly
fallen in love with the cathedral of their station, and remained
faithful to it for years after their return, like Mr. Howells, whose
heart and pen still return to Venice and San Carlo, so much to the
delight of his readers.

This charm appears to lie in the mere grandeur of the edifice as a work
of art, for we observe it to be most potent over persons who are least
in sympathy with the feeling which cathedrals embody. Very religious
people are as likely to be repelled as attracted by them; and, indeed,
in England and Scotland there are large numbers of Dissenters who have
avoided entering them all their lives on principle. It is Americans who
enjoy them most; for they see in them a most captivating assemblage of
novelties--vast magnitude, solidity of structure only inferior to
nature's own work, venerable age, harmonious and solemn
magnificence--all combined in an edifice which can not, on any principle
of utility, justify its existence, and does not pay the least fraction
of its expenses. Little do they know personally of the state of feeling
which made successive generations of human beings willing to live in
hovels and inhale pollution in order that they might erect those
wondrous piles. The cost of maintaining them--of which cost the annual
expenditure in money is the least important part--does not come home to
us. We abandon ourselves without reserve to the enjoyment of stupendous
works wholly new to our experience.

[Illustration: Engraved upon a Stall in Sherborne Minster, England.]

It is Americans, also, who are most baffled by the attempt to explain
the contradiction between the noble proportions of these edifices and
the decorations upon some of their walls. How could it have been, we ask
in amazement, that minds capable of conceiving the harmonies of these
fretted roofs, these majestic colonnades, these symmetrical towers,
could also have permitted their surfaces to be profaned by sculptures
so absurd and so abominable that by no artifice of circumlocution can an
idea of some of them be conveyed in printable words? In close proximity
to statues of the Virgin, and in chapels whose every line is a line of
beauty, we know not how to interpret what M. Champfleury truly styles
"deviltries and obscenities unnamable, vice and passion depicted with
gross brutality, luxury which has thrown off every disguise, and shows
itself naked, bestial, and shameless." And these mediæval artists
availed themselves of the accumulated buffooneries and monstrosities of
all the previous ages. The gross conceptions of India, Egypt, Greece,
and Rome appear in the ornamentation of Christian temples along with
shapes hideous or grotesque which may have been original. Even the oaken
stalls in which the officiating priests rested during the prolonged
ceremonials of festive days are in many cathedrals covered with comic
carving, some of which is pure caricature. A rather favorite subject was
the one shown above, a whipping-scene in a school, carved upon an
ancient stall in an English cathedral.

[Illustration: From a Manuscript of the Thirteenth Century.]

It is not certain, however, that the artist had any comic intention in
engraving this picture of retributive justice, with which the children
of former ages were so familiar. It was a standard subject. The troops
of Flemish carvers who roamed over Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries, offering their services wherever a church was to be
decorated, carried with them port-folios of stock subjects, of which
this was one. Other carvings are unmistakable caricatures: a monk caught
making love to a nun, a wife beating her husband, an aged philosopher
ridden by a woman, monkeys wearing bishops' mitres, barbers drawing
teeth in ludicrous attitudes, and others less describable. In the huge
cathedral of English Winchester, which abounds in curious relics of the
Middle Ages, there is a series of painted panels in the chapel of Our
Lady, one of which is an evident caricature of the devil. He is having
his portrait painted, and the Virgin Mary is near the artist, urging him
to paint him blacker and uglier than usual. The devil does not like
this, and wears an expression similar to that of a rogue in a modern
police station who objects to being photographed. Often, however, in
these old pictures the devil is master of the situation, and exhibits
contempt for his adversaries in indecorous ways.

If we turn from the sacred edifices to the sacred books used in
them--those richly illuminated missals, the books of "Hours," the
psalters, and other works of devotion--we are amazed beyond expression
to discover upon their brilliant pages a similar taste in ornamentation.
The school scene on the previous page, in which monkey-headed children
are playing school, dates back to the thirteenth century.

Burlesque tournaments, in the same taste, often figure in the
prayer-books among representations of the Madonna, the crucifixion, and
scenes in the lives of the patriarchs. The gallant hare tilts at the
fierce cock of the barn-yard, or sly Reynard parries the thrust of the
clumsy bear.

[Illustration: From a Manuscript Mass-book of the Fourteenth Century.]

One of the most curious relics of those religious centuries is a French
prayer-book preserved in the British Museum, where it was discovered and
described by Mr. Malcolm, one of the first persons who ever attempted to
elucidate the subject of caricature. Besides the "Hours of the Blessed
Virgin," it contains various prayers and collects, the office for the
dead, and some psalms, all in Latin. It is illustrated by several
brilliantly colored, well-drawn, but most grotesque and incomprehensible
figures, designed, as has been conjectured, to "expose the wicked and
inordinate lives of the clergy, who were hated by the manuscript writers
as taking away much of their business." This was the explanation given
of these remarkable pictures to the trustees of the Museum by the
collector of whom they bought the volume. Several of them are submitted
to the reader's ingenuity on the following page.

Besides the specimens given, there is a wolf growling at a snake
twisting itself round its hind-leg; there is "a grinning-match" between
a human head on an animal's body and a boar's head on a monkey's body;
there is a creature like a pea-hen, with two bodies, one neck, and two
dogs' heads; there is an animal with four bodies and one head; there is
a bearded man's face and a woman's on one neck, and the body has no
limbs, but an enormous tail; there is a turret, on the top of which a
monkey sits, and a savage below is aiming an arrow at him. In the
British Museum--that unequaled repository of all that is curious and
rare--there is the famous and splendid psalter of Richard II.,
containing many strange pictures in the taste of the period. On the
second page, for example, along with two pictures of the kind usual in
Catholic works of devotion, there is a third which represents an absurd
combat within lists between the court-fool and the court-giant. The
fool, who is also a dwarf, is belaboring the giant with an instrument
like those hollow clubs used in our pantomimes when the clown is to be
whacked with great violence. The giant shrinks from the blows, and the
king, pointing at the dwarf, seems to say, "Go it, little one; I bet
upon _you_."

[Illustration: From a French Prayer-book of the Thirteenth Century, in
the British Museum.]

Mr. Malcolm, who copied this picture from the original, where, he says,
it is most superbly finished, interprets it to be a caricature of the
famous combat between David and Goliath in the presence of King Saul and
his court. In the same mass-book there is a highly ridiculous
representation of Jonah on board ship, with a blue Boreas with cheeks
puffed out raising the tempest, and a black devil clawing the sail from
the yard. In selecting a few of the more innocent pictures from the
prayer-book of Queen Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. of England, Mr.
Malcolm gives expression to his amazement at the character of the
drawings, which he dared not exhibit to a British public! Was this book,
he asks, made on purpose for the queen? Was it a gift or a purchase? But
whether she bought or whether she accepted it, he thinks she must have
"delighted in ludicrous and improper ideas," or else "her inclination
for absurdity and caricature conquered even her religion, in defense of
which she spread ruin and desolation through her kingdom."

[Illustration: From Queen Mary's Prayer-book, A.D. 1553.]

As the reader has now before his eyes a sufficient number of specimens
of the grotesque ecclesiastical ornamentation of the period under
consideration, he is prepared to consider the question which has
perplexed so many students besides Mr. Malcolm: How are we to account
for these indecencies in places and books consecrated to devotion? A
voice from the Church of the fifth century gives us the hint of the true
answer. "You ask me," writes St. Nilus to Olympiodorus of Alexandria,
"if it is becoming in us to cover the walls of the sanctuary with
representations of animals of all kinds, so that we see upon them snares
set, hares, goats, and other beasts in full flight before hunters
exhausting themselves in taking and pursuing them with their dogs; and,
again, upon the bank of a river, all kinds of fish caught by fishermen.
I answer you that this is a _puerility with which to amuse the eyes of
the faithful_."[4] To one who is acquainted with the history and genius
of the Roman Catholic Church, this very simple explanation of the
incongruity is sufficient. The policy of that wonderful organization in
every age has been to make every possible concession to ignorance that
is compatible with the continuance of ignorance. It has sought always
to amuse, to edify, to moralize, and console ignorance, but never to
enlighten it. The mind that planned the magnificent cathedral at Rheims,
of which Mr. Tomes was so much enamored, and the artists who designed
the glorious San Carlo that kindled rapture in the poetical mind of Mr.
Howells, did indeed permit the scandalous burlesques that disfigure
their walls; but they only permitted them. It was a concession which
they had to grant to the ignorant multitude whose unquestioning faith
alone made these enormous structures possible.

[Footnote 4: Quoted in Champfleury, p. 7, from "Maxima Bibliotheca
Patrum," vol. xxvii., p. 323.]

We touch here the question insinuated by Gibbon in his first volume,
where he plainly enough intimates his belief that Christianity was a
lapse into barbarism rather than a deliverance from it. Plausible
arguments in the same direction have been frequently made since Gibbon's
time by comparing the best of Roman civilization with the worst of the
self-torturing monkery of the early Christian centuries. In a debate on
this subject in New York not long since between a member of the bar and
a doctor of divinity, both of them gentlemen of learning, ability, and
candor, the lawyer pointed to the famous picture of St. Jerome (A.D.
375), naked, grasping a human skull, his magnificent head showing vast
capacity paralyzed by an absorbing terror, and exclaimed, "Behold the
lapse from Virgil, Horace, Cicero, Seneca, the Plinys, and the
Antonines!" The answer made by the clergyman was, "That is _not_
Christianity! In the Christian books no hint of that, no utterance
justifying that, can be found." Perhaps neither of the disputants
succeeded in expressing the whole truth on this point. The vaunted Roman
civilization was, in truth, only a thin crust upon the surface of the
empire, embracing but one small class in each province, the people
everywhere being ignorant slaves. Into that inert mass of servile
ignorance Christianity enters, and receives from it the interpretation
which ignorance always puts upon ideas advanced or new, interpreting it
as hungry French peasants in 1792 and South Carolina negroes in 1870
interpreted modern ideas of human rights. The new leaven set the mass
heaving and swelling until the crust was broken to pieces. The
civilization of Marcus Aurelius was lost. From parchment scrolls poetry
and philosophy were obliterated, that the sheets might be used for
prayers and meditations. The system of which St. Jerome was the product
and representative was a baleful mixture, of which nine-tenths were
Hindoo and the remaining tenth was half Christian and half Plato.

The true inference to be drawn is that no civilization is safe, nor even
genuine, until it embraces all classes of the community; and the
promulgation of Christianity was the first step toward that.

As the centuries wore on, the best of the clergy grew restive under this
monstrous style of ornamentation. "What purpose," wrote St. Bernard,
about A.D. 1140, "serve in our cloisters, under the eyes of the brothers
and during their pious readings, those ridiculous monstrosities, those
prodigies of beauties deformed or deformities made beautiful? Why those
nasty monkeys, those furious lions, those monstrous centaurs, those
animals half human, those spotted tigers, those soldiers in combat,
those huntsmen sounding the horn? Here a single head is fitted to
several bodies; there upon a single body there are several heads; now a
quadruped has a serpent's tail, and now a quadruped's head figures upon
a fish's body. Sometimes it is a monster with the fore parts of a horse
and the hinder parts of a goat; again an animal with horns ends with the
hind quarters of a horse. Everywhere is seen a variety of strange forms,
so numerous and so odd that the brothers occupy themselves more in
deciphering the marbles than their books, and pass whole days in
studying all those figures much more attentively than the divine law.
Great God! if you are not ashamed of such useless things, how, at least,
can you avoid regretting the enormity of their cost?"

How, indeed! The honest abbé was far from seeing the symbolical meaning
in those odd figures which modern investigators have imagined. He was
simply ashamed of the ecclesiastical caricatures; but a century or two
later ingenious writers began to cover them with the fig-leaves of a
symbolical interpretation. According to the ingenious M. Durand, who
wrote (A.D. 1459) thirty years before Luther was born, every part of a
cathedral has its spiritual meaning. The stones of which it is built
represent the faithful, the lime that forms part of the cement is an
emblem of fervent charity, the sand mingled with it signifies the
actions undertaken by us for the good of our brethren, and the water in
which these ingredients blend is the symbol of the Holy Ghost. The
hideous shapes sculptured upon the portals are, of course, _malign
spirits flying from the temple of the Lord, and seeking refuge in the
very substance of the walls_! The great length of the temple signifies
the tireless patience with which the faithful support the ills of this
life in expectation of their celestial home; its breadth symbolizes that
large and noble love which embraces both the friends and the enemies of
God; its height typifies the hope of final pardon; the roof beams are
the prelates, who by the labor of preaching exhibit the truth in all its
clearness; the windows are the Scriptures, which receive the light from
the sun of truth, and keep out the winds, snows, and hail of heresy and
false doctrine devised by the father of schism and falsehood; the iron
bars and pins that sustain the windows are the general councils,
ecumenical and orthodox, which have sustained the holy and canonical
Scriptures; the two perpendicular stone columns which support the
windows are the two precepts of Christian charity, to love God and our
neighbor; the length of the windows shows the profundity and obscurity
of Scripture, and their roundness indicates that the Church is always in
harmony with itself.

This is simple enough. But M. Jérôme Bugeaud, in his collection of
"Chansons Populaires" of the western provinces of France, gives part of
a catechism still taught to children, though coming down from the Middle
Ages, which carries this quaint symbolizing to a point of the highest
absurdity. The catechism turns upon the sacred character of the lowly
animal that most needed any protection which priestly ingenuity could
afford. Here are a few of the questions and answers:

_Priest._ "What signify the two ears of the ass?"

_Child._ "The two ears of the ass signify the two great patron saints of
our city."

_Priest._ "What signifies the head of the ass?"

_Child._ "The head of the ass signifies the great bell, and the halter
the clapper of the great bell, which is in the tower of the cathedral of
the patron saints of our city."

_Priest._ "What signifies the ass's mouth?"

_Child._ "The ass's mouth signifies the great door of the cathedral of
the patron saints of our city."

_Priest._ "What signify the four feet of the ass?"

_Child._ "The four feet of the ass signify the four great pillars of the
cathedral of the patron saints of our city."

_Priest._ "What signifies the paunch of the ass?"

_Child._ "The paunch of the ass signifies the great chest wherein
Christians put their offerings to the patron saints of our cathedral."

_Priest._ "What signifies the tail of the ass?"

_Child._ "The tail of the ass signifies the holy-water brush of the good
dean of the cathedral of the patron saints of our city."

The priest does not stop at the tail, but pursues the symbolism with a
simplicity and innocence which do not bear translating into our blunt
English words. As late as 1750 Bishop Burnet saw in a church at Worms an
altarpiece of a crudity almost incredible. It represented the Virgin
Mary throwing Christ into the hopper of a windmill, from the spout of
which he was issuing in the form of sacramental wafers, and priests were
about to distribute them among the people. The unquestionable purpose of
this picture was to assist the faith and animate the piety of the people
of Worms.



[Illustration: Gog and Magog, the Giants in the Guildhall of London.]

If we turn from the sacred to the secular, we find the ornamentation not
less barbarous. Many readers have seen the two giants that stand in the
Guildhall of London, where they, or ugly images like them, have stood
from time immemorial. A little book sold near by used to inform a
credulous public that Gog and Magog were two gigantic brothers taken
prisoners in Cornwall fighting against the Trojan invaders, who brought
them in triumph to the site of London, where their chief chained them to
the gate of his palace as porters. But, unfortunately for this romantic
tale, Mr. Fairholt, in his work upon the giants,[5] makes it known that
many other towns and cities of Europe cherish from a remote antiquity
similar images. He gives pictures of the Salisbury giant, the huge
helmeted giant in Antwerp, the family of giants at Douai, the giant and
giantess of Ath, the giants of Brussels, as well as of the mighty dragon
of Norwich, with practicable iron jaw.

[Footnote 5: "Gog and Magog: the Giants in Guildhall," by F. W.
Fairholt, F.S.A., London, 1859.]

[Illustration: Head of the Great Dragon of Norwich.]

We may therefore discard learned theories and sage conjectures
concerning Gog and Magog, and attribute them to the poverty of invention
and the barbarity of taste which prevailed in the ages of faith.

[Illustration: Souls Weighed in the Balance. (Bas-relief of the Autun

One of the subjects most frequently chosen for caricature during this
period was that cunning and audacious enemy of God and man, the devil--a
composite being, made up of the Satan who tested Job, the devil who
tempted Jesus, and the Egyptian Osiris who weighed souls in the balance,
and claimed as his own those found wanting. The theory of the universe
then generally accepted was that the world was merely a field of strife
between God and this malignant spirit; on the side of God were ranged
archangels, angels, the countless host of celestial beings, and all the
saints on earth and in heaven, while on the devil's side were a vast
army of fallen spirits and all the depraved portion of the human race.
The simple souls of that period did not accept this explanation in an
allegorical sense, but as the most literal statement of facts familiarly
known, concerning which no one in Christendom had any doubt whatever.
The devil was as composite in his external form as he was in his
traditional character. All the mythologies appear to have contributed
something to his make-up, until he had acquired many of the most
repulsive features and members of which animated nature gives the
suggestion. He was hairy, hoofed, and horned; he had a forked tail; he
had a countenance which expressed the fox's cunning, the serpent's
malice, the pig's appetite, the monkey's grin. As to his body, it varied
according to the design of the artist, but it usually resembled
creatures base or loathsome.

[Illustration: Struggle for the Possession of a Soul between Angel and
Devil. (From a Psalter, 1300.)]

In one picture there is a very rude but curious representation of the
weighing of souls, superintended by the devil and an archangel. The
devil, in the form of a hog, has won a prize in the soul of a wicked
woman, which he is carrying off in a highly disrespectful manner, while
casting a backward glance to see that he has fair play in the next
weighing. This was an exceedingly favorite subject with the artists of
the eleventh and twelfth centuries. They delighted to picture the
devil, in their crude uncompromising way, as an insatiate miser of
human souls, eager to seize them, demanding a thousand, a million, a
billion, _all_; and when one appeared in the scales so void of guilt
that the good angel must needs possess it, he may be seen slyly putting
a finger upon the opposite scale to weigh it down, and this sometimes in
spite of the angel's remonstrance. In one picture, described by M.
Mérimée in his "Voyage en Auvergne," the devil plays this trick at a
moment when the archangel Michael has turned to look another way.

[Illustration: Lost Souls cast into Hell. (From Queen Mary's Psalter.)]

It is a strange circumstance that in a large number of these
representations the devil is exhibited triumphant, and in others the
victory is at least doubtful. In a splendid psalter preserved in the
British Museum there is a large picture (an engraving of which is given
on the preceding page) of a soul climbing an extremely steep and high
mountain, on the summit of which a winged archangel stands with
outstretched arms to receive him. The soul has nearly reached the top;
another step will bring him within the archangel's reach; but behind him
is the devil with a long three-pronged clawing instrument, which he is
about to thrust into the hair of the ascending saint; and no man can
tell which is to finally have that soul, the angel or the devil. M.
Champfleury describes a capital in a French church which represents one
of the minions of the devil carrying a lizard, symbol of evil, which he
is about to add to the scale containing the sins; and the spectator is
left to infer that fraud of this kind is likely to be successful, for
underneath is written, "_Ecce Diabolus!_" It is as if the artist had
said, "Such is the devil, and this is one of his modes of entrapping his
natural prey of human souls!" From a large number of similar pictures
the inference is fair that, let a man lead a spotless life from the
cradle to the grave, the devil, by a mere trick, may get his soul at
last. Some of the artists might be suspected of sympathizing with the
devil in his triumphs over the weakness of man. Observe, for example,
the comic exuberance of the above picture, in which devils are seen
tumbling their immortal booty into the jaws of perdition.

It is difficult to look at this picture without feeling that the artist
must have been alive to the humors of the situation. It is, however, the
opinion of students of these quaint relics that the authors of such
designs honestly intended to excite horror, not hilarity. Queen Mary
probably saw in this picture, as she turned the page of her sumptuous
psalter, an argument to inflame her bloody zeal for the ancient faith.
In the writings of some of the early fathers we observe the same
appearance of joyous exultation at the sufferings of the lost, if not a
sense of the comic absurdity of their doom. Readers may remember the
passage from Tertullian (A.D. 200) quoted so effectively by Gibbon:

"You are fond of all spectacles," exclaims this truly ferocious
Christian; "expect the greatest of all spectacles, the last and eternal
judgment of the universe. How shall I rejoice, how laugh, how exult,
when I behold so many proud monarchs and fancied gods groaning in the
lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates who persecuted the name of
the Lord liquefying in fiercer fires than they ever kindled against
Christians; so many sage philosophers blushing in red-hot flames with
their deluded scholars; so many celebrated poets trembling before the
tribunal; so many tragedians more tuneful in the expression of their own
sufferings; so many dancers--"

[Illustration: Devils seizing their Prey. (Bas-relief on the Portal of a
Church at Troyes.)]

This is assuredly not the utterance of compassion, but rather of the
fierce delight of an unregenerate Roman, when at the amphitheatre he
doomed a rival's defeated gladiator to death by pointing downward with
his thumb. In a similar spirit such pictures were conceived as the one
given above.

The sculptor, it is apparent, is "with" the adversary of mankind in the
present case. Kings and bishops carried things with a high hand during
their mortal career, but the devils have them at last with a rope round
their necks, crown and mitre notwithstanding!

The devil was not always victor. There was One whom neither his low
cunning nor his bland address nor his blunt audacity could beguile--the
Son of God, his predestined conqueror. The passages in the Gospels which
relate the attempts made by Satan to tempt the Lord furnished congenial
subjects to the illuminators of the Middle Ages, and they treated those
subjects with their usual enormous crudity. In one very ancient Saxon
psalter, in manuscript, preserved at the British Museum, there is a
colossal Christ, with one foot upon a devil, the other foot about to
fall upon a second devil, and with his hands delivering from the open
mouth of a third devil human souls, who hold up to him their hands
clasped as in prayer. In this picture the sympathies of the artist are
evidently not on the side of the evil spirits. Their malevolence is
apparent, and their attitude is ignominious. The rescued souls are,
indeed, a pigmy crew, of woe-begone aspect; but their resistless
Deliverer towers aloft in such imposing altitude that the tallest of the
saints hardly reaches above his knees. In another picture of very early
date, the Lord upon a high place is rescuing a soul from three scoffing
devils, who are endeavoring to pull him down to perdition by cords
twisted round his legs. _This_ soul we are permitted to consider safe;
but below, in a corner of the spacious drawing, a winged archangel is
spearing a lost soul into the flames of hell, using the spear in the
manner of a farmer handling a pitchfork.

[Illustration: The Temptation.]

These ancient attempts to exhibit the endless conflict between good and
evil are too rude even to be interesting. The specimen annexed, of later
date, about 1475, occurs in a Poor People's Bible (_Biblia Pauperum_),
block-printed, in which it forms part of an extensive frontispiece. The
book was once the property of George III., at the sale of whose personal
effects it was bought for the British Museum, where it now is. It has
the additional interest of being one of the oldest specimens of
wood-engraving yet discovered.

The mountain in the background, adorned by a single tree, is the height
to which the Lord was taken by the tempter, and from which the devil
urged him to cast himself down.

A very frequent object of caricature during the ages when terror ruled
the minds of men was human life itself--its brevity, its uncertainty,
and the absurd, ill-timed suddenness with which inexorable death
sometimes cuts it short. Herodotus records that at the banquets of the
Egyptians it was customary for a person to carry about the table the
figure of a corpse lying upon a coffin, and to cry out, "Behold this
image of what yourselves shall be; therefore eat, drink, and be merry."
There are traces of a similar custom in the records of other ancient
nations, among whom it was regarded as a self-evident truth that the
shortness of life was a reason for making the most of it while it
lasted. And their notion of making the most of it was to get from it the
greatest amount of pleasure. This vulgar scheme of existence vanished at
the promulgation of the doctrine that the condition of every soul was
fixed unalterably at the moment of its severance from the body, or, at
best, after a short period of purgation, and that the only way to avoid
unending anguish was to do what the Church commanded and to avoid what
the Church forbade. Terror from that time ruled Christendom. Terror
covered the earth with ecclesiastical structures, gave the Church a
tenth of all revenues and two-fifths of all property. By every possible
device death was clothed with new and vivid terrors, and in every
possible way the truth was brought home to the mind that the coming of
death could be as unexpected as it was inevitable and unwelcome. The
tolling of the church-bell spread the gloom of the death-chamber over
the whole town; and the death-crier, with bell and lantern, wearing a
garment made terrible by a skull and cross-bones, went his rounds, by
day or night, crying to all good people to pray for the soul just

[Footnote 6: "Essai sur les Dances des Morts," vol. i., p. 151, par E.
H. Langlois, Paris, 1852.]

[Illustration: French Death-crier--"Pray for the Soul just departed."]

These criers did not cease to perambulate the streets of Paris until
about the year 1690, and M. Langlois informs us that in remote provinces
of France their doleful cry was heard as recently as 1850.

Blessed gift of humor! Against the most complicated and effective
apparatus of terror ever contrived, worked by the most powerful
organization that ever existed, the sense of the ludicrous asserted
itself, and saved the human mind from being crushed down into abject and
hopeless idiocy. The readers of "Don Quixote" can not have forgotten the
colloquy in the highway between the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance
and the head of the company of strollers.

"'Sir,' replied the Devil, politely, stopping his cart, 'we are the
actors of the company of the Evil Spirit. This morning, which is the
octave of Corpus Christi, we have represented the play of the Empire of
Death. This young man played Death, and this one an Angel. This woman,
who is the wife of the author of the comedy, is the Queen. Over there is
one who played the part of an Emperor, and the other man that of a
Soldier. As to myself, I am the Devil, at your service, and one of the
principal actors.'"

[Illustration: Death and the Cripple.]

For centuries the comedy of Death was a standard play at high festivals,
the main interest being the rude, sudden interruption of human lives and
joys and schemes by the grim messenger. Art adopted the theme, and the
Dance of Death began to figure among the decorations of ecclesiastical
structures and on the vellum of illuminated prayer-books. No sculptor
but executed his Dance of Death; no painter but tried his skill upon it;
and by whomsoever the subject was treated, the element of humor was
seldom wanting.

So numerous are the pictures and series of pictures usually styled
Dances of Death, that a descriptive catalogue of them would fill the
space assigned to this chapter; and the literature to which they have
given rise forms an important class of the works relating to the Middle
Ages. Two phases of the subject were especially attractive to artists.
One was the impartiality of Death, noted by Horace in the familiar
passage; and the other the incongruity between the summons to depart and
the condition of the person summoned. When these two aspects of the
subject had become hackneyed, artists pleased themselves sometimes with
a treatment precisely the opposite, and represented Death dancing gayly
away with the most battered, ancient, and forlorn of human kind, who had
least reason to love life, but did not the less shrink from the
skeleton's icy touch. Every one feels the comic absurdity of gay and
sprightly Death hurrying off to the tomb a cripple as dilapidated as the
one in the picture above. In another engraving we see Death, with
exaggerated courtesy, handing to an open tomb an extremely old man just
able to totter.

[Illustration: Death and the Old Man.]

Another subject in the same series is Death dragging at the garment of a
peddler, who is so heavily laden as he trudges along the highway that
one would imagine even the rest of the grave welcome. But the peddler,
too, makes a very wry face when he recognizes who it is that has
interrupted his weary tramp. The triumphant gayety of Death in this
picture is in humorous contrast with the lugubrious expression on the
countenance of his victim.

[Illustration: Death and the Peddler.]

[Illustration: Death and the Knight.]

In other series we have Death dressed as a beau seizing a young maiden,
Death taking from a house-maid her broom, Death laying hold of a
washer-woman, Death taking apples from an apple-stand, Death beckoning
away a bar-maid, Death summoning a female mourner at a funeral, and
Death plundering a tinker's basket. Death, standing in a grave, pulls
the grave-digger in by the leg; seated on a plow, he seizes the farmer;
with an ale-pot at his back, he throttles an inn-keeper who is
adulterating his liquors; he strikes with a bone the irksome chain of
matrimony, and thus sets free a couple bound by it; he mows down a
philosopher holding a clock; upon a miser who has thrust his body deep
down into a massive chest he shuts the heavy lid; he shows himself in
the mirror in which a young beauty is looking; to a philosopher seated
in his study he enters and presents an hour-glass. A pope on his throne
is crowning an emperor kneeling at his feet, with princes, cardinals,
and bishops in attendance, when a Death appears at his side, and another
in his retinue dressed as a cardinal. Death lays his hand upon an
emperor's crown at the moment when he is doing justice to a poor man
against a rich; but in another picture of the same series, Death seizes
a duke while he is disdainfully turning from a poor woman with her child
who has asked alms of him. The dignitaries of the Church were not
spared. Fat abbots, gorgeous cardinals, and vehement preachers all
figure in these series in circumstances of honor and of dishonor. In
most of them the person summoned yields to King Death without a
struggle; but in one a knight makes a furious resistance, laying about
him with a broadsword most energetically. It is of no avail. Death runs
him through the body with his own lance, though in the other picture the
weapon in Death's hand was only a long thigh-bone.

Mr. Longfellow, in his "Golden Legend," has availed himself of the Dance
of Death painted on the walls of the covered bridge at Lucerne to give
naturalness and charm to the conversation of Elsie and Prince Henry
while they are crossing the river. The strange pictures excite the
curiosity of Elsie, and the Prince explains them to her as they walk:

    "_Elsie._                    What is this picture?

    "_Prince._ It is a young man singing to a nun,
  Who kneels at her devotions, but in kneeling
  Turns round to look at him; and Death meanwhile
  Is putting out the candles on the altar!

    "_Elsie._ Ah, what a pity 'tis that she should listen
  Unto such songs, when in her orisons
  She might have heard in heaven the angels singing!

    "_Prince._ Here he has stolen a jester's cap and bells,
  And dances with the queen.

    "_Elsie._                  A foolish jest!

    "_Prince._ And here the heart of the new-wedded wife,
  Coming from church with her beloved lord,
  He startles with the rattle of his drum.

    "_Elsie._ Ah, that is sad! And yet perhaps 'tis best
  That she should die with all the sunshine on her
  And all the benedictions of the morning,
  Before this affluence of golden light
  Shall fade into a cold and clouded gray,
  Then into darkness!

    "_Prince._        Under it is written,
  'Nothing but death shall separate thee and me!'

    "_Elsie._ And what is this that follows close upon it?

    "_Prince._ Death playing on a dulcimer."

And so the lovers converse on the bridge, all covered from end to end
with these caricatures of human existence, until the girl hurries with
affright from what she calls "this great picture-gallery of death."

Tournaments were among the usual subjects of caricature during the
century or two preceding the Reformation. Some specimens have already
been given from the illuminated prayer-books (pp. 44, 46). The device,
however, seldom rises above the ancient one of investing animals with
the gifts and qualities of men. Monkeys mounted upon the backs of dogs
tilt at one another with long lances, or monsters utterly nondescript
charge upon other monsters more ridiculous than themselves.

All the ordinary foibles of human nature received attention. These never
change. There are always gluttons, misers, and spendthrifts. There are
always weak men and vain women. There are always husbands whose wives
deceive and worry them, as there are always wives whom husbands worry
and deceive; and the artists of the Middle Ages, in their own direct
rude fashion, turned both into caricature. The mere list of subjects
treated in Brandt's "Ship of Fools," written when Luther was a
school-boy, shows us that men were men and women were women in 1490.
That quaint reformer of manners dealt mild rebuke to men who gathered
great store of books and put them to no good use; to women who were ever
changing the fashion of their dress; to men who began to build without
counting the cost; to "great borrowers and slack payers;" to fools "who
will serve two lords both together;" to them who correct others while
themselves are "culpable in the same fault;" to "fools who can not keep
secret their own counsel;" to people who believe in "predestinacyon;" to
men who attend closely to other people's business, leaving their own
undone; to "old folks that give example of vice to youth;" and so on
through the long catalogue of human follies. His homely and wise ditties
are illustrated by pictures of curious simplicity. Observe the one
subjoined, in which "a foule" is weighing the transitory things of this
world against things everlasting, one being represented by a scale full
of castles and towers, and the other by a scale full of stars--the
earthly castles outweighing the heavenly bodies in the balance of this

[Illustration: Heaven and Earth weighed in the Balance. (From "The Ship
of Fools.")]

One of the quaint poems of the gentle priest descants upon the bad
behavior of people at church. This poem has an historical interest, for
it throws light upon the manners of the time, over which poetry,
tradition, and romance have thrown a very delusive charm. We learn from
it that while the Christian people of Europe were on their knees praying
in church they were liable to be disturbed by the "mad noise and shout"
of a loitering crowd; by knights coming in from the field, falcon upon
wrist, with their dogs yelping at their heels; by men chaffering and
bargaining as they walked up and down; by the wanton laughter of girls
ogled by young men; by lawyers conferring with clients; and by all the
usual noises of a crowd at a fair. The author wonders

  "That the false paynyms within theyr Temples be
   To theyr ydols moche more devout than we."

The worthy Brandt was not the only satirist of Church manners. The
"Usurer's Paternoster," given by M. Champfleury, is more incisive than
Brandt's amiable remonstrance. The usurer, hurrying away to church,
tells his wife that if any one comes to borrow money while he is gone,
some one must be sent in all haste for him. On his way he says his
paternoster thus:

"_Our Father._ Blessed Lord God [Beau Sire Dieu], be favorable to me,
and give me grace to prosper exceedingly. Let me become the richest
money-lender in the world. _Who art in heaven._ I am sorry I wasn't at
home the day that woman came to borrow. Really I am a fool to go to
church, where I can gain nothing. _Hallowed be thy name._ It's too bad I
have a servant so expert in pilfering my money. _Thy kingdom come._ I
have a mind to go home to see what my wife is about. I'll bet she sells
a chicken while I am away, and keeps the money. _Thy will be done._ It
pops into my mind that the chevalier who owed me fifty francs paid me
only half. _In heaven._ Those damned Jews do a rushing business in
lending to every one. I should like very much to do as they do. _As on
earth._ The king plagues me to death in raising taxes so often."

Arrived at church, the money-lender goes through part of the service as
best he may; but as soon as sermon time comes, off he goes, saying to
himself, "I must get away home: the priest is going to preach a sermon
to draw money out of our purses." Doubtless the priest in those times of
ignorance had to deal with many most profane and unspiritual people, who
could only be restrained by fear, and to whose "puerility" much had to
be conceded. In touching upon the Church manners of the Middle Ages, M.
Champfleury makes a remark that startles a Protestant mind accustomed
only to the most exact decorum in churches. "Old men _of to-day_"
(1850), he says, speaking of France, "will recall to mind the _gayety_
of the midnight masses, when buffoons from the country waited
impatiently to send down showers of small torpedoes upon the pavement of
the nave, to barricade the alcoves with mountains of chairs, to fill
with ink the holy-water basins, and to steal kisses in out-of-the-way
corners from girls who would not give them." These proceedings, which M.
Champfleury styles "the pleasantries of our fathers," were among the
concessions made by a worldly-wise old Church to the "puerility" of the
people, or rather to the absolute necessity of occasional hilarious fun
to healthy existence.

Amusing and even valuable caricatures six and seven centuries old have
been discovered upon parchment documents in the English record offices,
executed apparently by idle clerks for their amusement when they had
nothing else to do. One of these, copied by Mr. Wright, gives us the
popular English conception of an Irish warrior of the thirteenth

[Illustration: English Caricature of an Irishman, A.D. 1280.]

The broad-axes of the Irish were held in great terror by the English. An
historian of Edward I.'s time, while discoursing on that supreme
perplexity of British kings and ministers, how Ireland should be
governed _after_ being quite reduced to subjection, expresses the
opinion that the Irish ought not to be allowed in time of peace to use
"that detestable instrument of destruction which by an ancient but
accursed custom they constantly carry in their hands instead of a
staff." The modern Irish shillalah, then, is only the residuum of the
ancient Irish broad-axe--the broad-axe with its head taken off. The
humanized Irishman of to-day is content with the handle of "the
detestable instrument." Other pen-and-ink sketches of England's dreaded
foes, the Irish and the Welsh, have been found upon ancient vellum
rolls, but none better than the specimen given has yet been copied.

The last object of caricature which can be mentioned in the present
chapter is the Jew--the odious Jew--accursed by the clergy _as_ a Jew,
despised by good citizens as a usurer, and dreaded by many a profligate
Christian as the holder of mortgages upon his estate. When the ruling
class of a country loses its hold upon virtue, becomes profuse in
expenditure, ceases to comply with natural law, comes to regard
licentious living as something to be expected of young blood, and makes
a jest of a decorous and moral conversation, then there is usually in
that country a less refined, stronger class, who _do_ comply with
natural law, who _do_ live in that virtuous, frugal, and orderly manner
by which alone families can be perpetuated and states established. In
several communities during the centuries preceding the Reformation, when
the nobles and great merchants wasted their substance in riotous living
or in insensate pilgrimages and crusades, the Jew was the virtuous,
sensible, and solvent man. He did not escape the evil influence wrought
into the texture of the character by living in an atmosphere of hatred
and contempt, nor the narrowness of mind caused by his being excluded
from all the more generous and high avocations. But he remained through
all those dismal ages temperate, chaste, industrious, and saving, as
well as heroically faithful to the best light on high things that he
had. Hence he always had money to lend, and he could only lend it to men
who were too glad to think he had no rights which they were bound to

The caricature on the next page was also discovered upon a vellum roll
in the Public Record Office in London, the work of some idle clerk 642
years ago, and recently transferred to an English work[7] of much
interest, in which it serves as a frontispiece.

[Footnote 7: "History of Crime in England," vol. i., by Luke Owen Pike,
London, 1873.]

[Illustration: Caricature of the Jews in England, A.D. 1233.]

The ridicule is aimed at the famous Jew, Isaac of Norwich, a rich
money-lender and merchant, to whom abbots, bishops, and wealthy vicars
were heavily indebted. At Norwich he had a wharf at which his vessels
could receive and discharge their freights, and whole districts were
mortgaged to him at once. He lent money to the king's exchequer. He was
the Rothschild of his day. In the picture, which represents the outside
of a castle--his own castle, wrested from some lavish Christian by a
money-lender's wiles--the Jew Isaac stands above all the other figures,
and is blessed with four faces and a crown, which imply, as Mr. Pike
conjectures, that, let him look whichever way he will, he beholds
possessions over which he holds kingly sway. Lower down, and nearer the
centre, are Mosse Mokke, another Jewish money-lender of Norwich, and
Madame Avegay, one of many Jewesses who lent money, between whom is a
horned devil pointing to their noses. The Jewish nose was a peculiarly
offensive feature to Christians, and was usually exaggerated by
caricaturists. The figure holding up scales heaped with coin is, so far
as we can guess, merely a taunt; and the seating of Dagon, the god of
the Philistines, upon the turret seems to be an intimation that the
Jews, in their dispersion, had abandoned the God of their fathers, and
taken up with the deity of his inveterate foes.

So far as the records of those ages disclose, there was no one
enlightened enough to judge the long-suffering Jews with just allowance.
Luther's aversion to them was morbid and violent. He confesses, in his
Table-talk, that if it had fallen to his lot to have much to do with
Jews, his patience would have given way; and when, one day, Dr. Menius
asked him how a Jew ought to be baptized, he replied, "You must fill a
large tub with water, and, having divested a Jew of his clothes, cover
him with a white garment. He must then sit down in the tub, and you must
baptize him quite under the water." He said further to Dr. Menius that
if a Jew, not converted at heart, were to ask baptism at his hands, he
would take him to the bridge, tie a stone round his neck, and hurl him
into the river, such an obstinate and scoffing race were they. If Luther
felt thus toward them, we can not wonder that the luxurious dignitaries
of the Church, two centuries before his time, should have had qualms of
conscience with regard to paying Isaac of Norwich interest upon money



[Illustration: Luther inspired by Satan.]

We have in this strange, rude picture[8] a device of contemporary
caricature to cast ridicule upon the movement of which Martin Luther was
the conspicuous figure. It is reduced from a large wood-cut which
appeared in Germany at the crisis of the lion-hearted reformer's career,
the year of his appearance at the Diet of Worms, when he said to
dissuading friends, "If I knew there were as many devils at Worms as
there are tiles upon the houses, I would go." The intention of the
artist is obvious; but, in addition to the leading purpose, he desired,
as Mr. Chatto conjectures, to remind his public of the nasal drawl of
the preaching friars of the time, for which they were as proverbial as
the Puritans of London in Cromwell's day. Such is the poverty of human
invention that the idea of this caricature has been employed several
times since Luther's time--even as recently as 1873, when a London
draughtsman made it serve his turn in the contentions of party politics.

[Footnote 8: From "A Treatise on Wood-engraving," p. 268, by Jackson and
Chatto, London, 1866.]

The best humorous talent of Christendom, whether it wrought with pencil
or with pen, whether it avowed or veiled its sympathy with reform, was
on Luther's side. It prepared the way for his coming, co-operated with
him during his life-time, carried on his work after he was gone, and
continues it to the present hour.

Recent investigators tell us, indeed, that the Reformation began in
laughter, which the Church itself nourished and sanctioned. M.
Viollet-le-Duc, author of the "Dictionnaire d'Architecture," discourses
upon the gradual change which church decorators of the Middle Ages
effected in the figure of the devil. Upon edifices erected before the
year 1000 there are few traces of the devil, and upon those of much
earlier date none at all; but from the eleventh century he "begins to
play an important _rôle_," artists striving which should give him the
most hideous form. No one was then audacious enough to take liberties
with a being so potent, so awful, so real, the competitor and antagonist
of the Almighty Lord of Heaven and Earth. But mortals must laugh, and
familiarity produces its well-known effect. In the eyes of men of the
world the devil became gradually less terrible and more grotesque,
became occasionally ridiculous, often contemptible, sometimes silly. His
tricks are met by tricks more cunning than his own; he is duped, and
retires discomfited. Before Luther appeared on the scene, the painters
and sculptors, not to mention the authors and poets, had made progress
in reducing the devil from the grade of an antagonist of deity and
arch-enemy of men to that of a cunning and amusing deceiver of
simpletons. "The great devil," as the author just mentioned remarks,
"sculptured over the door of the Autun Cathedral in the twelfth century
is a frightful being, well designed to strike terror to unformed souls;
but the young devils carved in bas-reliefs of the fifteenth century are
more comic than terrible, and it is evident that the artists who
executed them cared very little for the wicked tricks of the Evil
Spirit." We may be sure that the artist who could sketch the devil
fiddling upon a pair of bellows with a kitchen dipper had outgrown the
horror which that personage had once excited in all minds. Such a sketch
is here reproduced from a Flemish MS. in the library of Cambrai.

[Illustration: Devil fiddling upon a Pair of Bellows.]

But this could not be said of the great mass of Christian people for
centuries after. Luther, as the reader is aware, speaks of the devil
with as absolute an assurance of his existence, activity, and nearness
as if he were a member of his own household. God, he once said, mocks
and scorns the devil by putting under his nose such a weak creature as
man; and at other times he dwelt upon the hardness of the conflict which
the devil has to maintain. "It were not good for us to know how
earnestly the holy angels strive for us against the devil, or how hard a
combat it is. If we could see for how many angels one devil makes work,
we should be in despair." Many devils, he remarks with curious
certainty, are in forests, in waters, in wildernesses, in dark pooly
places, ready to hurt and prejudice people; and there are some in the
thick black clouds, which cause hail, lightnings, and thunderings, and
poison the air, the pastures, and grounds. He derides the philosophers
and physicians who say that these things have merely natural causes; and
as to the witches who torment honest people, and spoil their eggs, milk,
and butter, "I should have no compassion upon them--I would burn them
all." The Table-talk of the great reformer is full of such robust

Luther represented, as much as he reformed, his age and country. In
these utterances of his we discern the spirit against which the humor
and gayety of art had to contend, and over which it has gained a tardy
victory, not yet complete. Let us keep in mind also that in those
twilight ages, as in all ages, there were the two contending influences
which we now call "the world" and "the church." In other words, there
were people who took the devil lightly, as they did all invisible and
spiritual things, and there were people who dreaded the devil in every
"dark pooly place," and to whom nothing could be a jest which
appertained to him. Humorous art has in it healing and admonition for
both these classes.

[Illustration: Oldest Drawing in the British Museum, A.D. 1320.]

It was in those centuries, also, that men of the world learned to laugh
at the clergy, and, again, not without clerical encouragement. In the
brilliantly illuminated religious manuscripts of the two centuries
preceding Luther, along with other ludicrous and absurd images, of which
specimens have been given, we find many pictures in which the vices of
the religious orders are exhibited. The oldest drawing in the British
Museum, one of the only two that bear the date 1320, shows us two devils
tossing a monk headlong from a bridge into a rough and rapid river, an
act which they perform in a manner not calculated to excite serious
thought in modern minds.

In the old Strasburg Cathedral there was a brass door, made in 1545,
upon which was engraved a convent with a procession of monks issuing
from it bearing the cross and banners. The foremost figure of this
procession was a monk carrying a girl upon his shoulders. This was not
the coarse fling of an enemy. It was not the scoff of an Erasmus, who
said once, "These paunchy monks are called _fathers_, and they take good
care to deserve the name." It was engraved on the eternal brass of a
religious edifice for the warning and edification of the faithful.

Nothing more surprises the modern reader than the frequency and severity
with which the clergy of those centuries were denounced and satirized,
as well by themselves as by others. A Church which showed itself
sensitive to the least taint of what it deemed heresy appears to have
beheld with indifference the exhibition of its moral delinquencies--nay,
taken the lead in exposing them. It was a clergyman who said, in the
Council of Siena, fifty years before Luther was born: "We see to-day
priests who are usurers, wine-shop keepers, merchants, governors of
castles, notaries, stewards, and debauch brokers. The only trade which
they have not yet commenced is that of executioner. The bishops surpass
Epicurus himself in sensuality, and it is between the courses of a
banquet that they discuss the authority of the Pope and that of the
Council." The same speaker related that St. Bridget, being in St.
Peter's at Rome, looked up in a religious ecstasy, and saw the nave
filled with mitred hogs. She asked the Lord to explain this fantastic
vision. "These," replied the Lord, "are the bishops and abbés of
to-day." M. Champfleury, the first living authority on subjects of this
nature, declares that the manuscript Bibles of the century preceding
Luther are so filled with pictures exhibiting monks and nuns in
equivocal circumstances that he was only puzzled to decide which
specimens were most suitable to give his readers an adequate idea of

From mere gayety of heart, from the exuberant jollity of a
well-beneficed scholar, whose future was secure and whose time was all
his own, some of the higher clergy appear to have jested upon themselves
and their office. Two finely engraved seals have been found in France,
one dating as far back as 1300, which represent monkeys arrayed in the
vestments of a Church dignitary. Upon one of them the monkey wears the
hood and holds the staff of an abbot, and upon the other the animal
appears in the character of a bishop.

[Illustration: Bishop's Seal, A.D. 1300.]

One of these seals is known to have been executed at the express order
of an abbot. The other, a copy of which is given here, was found in the
ruins of an ancient château of Picardy, and bears the inscription, "LE:
SCEL: DE: LEUECQUE: DE: LA: CYTE: DE: PINON"--"The seal of the bishop of
the city of Pinon." This interesting relic was at first thought to be
the work of some scoffing Huguenot, but there can now be no doubt of its
having been the merry conceit of the personage whose title it bears. The
discovery of the record relating to the monkey seal of the abbot,
showing it to have been ordered and paid for by the actual head of a
great monastery, throws light upon all the grotesque ornamentation of
those centuries. It suggests to us also the idea that the clergy joined
in the general ridicule of their order as much from a sense of the
ludicrous as from conviction of its justice. In the British Museum there
is a religious manuscript of the thirteenth century, splendidly
illuminated, one of the initial letters of which represents a young
friar drawing wine from a cask in a cellar, that contains several
humorous points. With his left hand he holds the great wine-jug, into
which the liquid is running from the barrel; with his right he lifts to
his lips a bowlful of the wine, and from the same hand dangle the large
keys of the cellar. If this was intended as a hint to the younger
brethren how they ought not to behave when sent to the cellar for wine,
the artist evidently felt also the comic absurdity of the situation.

The vast cellars still to be seen under ancient monasteries and
priories, as well as the kitchens, not less spacious, and supported by
archways of the most massive masonry, tell a tale of the habits of the
religious orders which is abundantly confirmed in the records and
literature of the time. "Capuchins," says the old French doggerel,
"drink poorly, Benedictines deeply, Dominicans pint after pint, but
Franciscans drink the cellar dry." The great number of old taverns in
Europe named the Mitre, the Church, the Chapel-bell, St. Dominic, and
other ecclesiastical names, point to the conclusion that the class that
professed to dispense good cheer for the soul was not averse to good
cheer for the body.[9]

[Footnote 9: "History of Sign-boards," p. 319, by Larwood and Hotten,

If the clergy led the merriment caused by their own excesses, we can not
wonder they should have had many followers. In the popular tales of the
time, which have been gathered and made accessible in recent years, we
find the priest, the monk, the nun, the abbot, often figuring in absurd
situations, rarely in creditable ones. The priest seems to have been
regarded as the satirist's fair game, the common butt of the jester. In
one of these stories a butcher, returning home from a fair, asks a
night's lodging at the house of a priest, who churlishly refuses it. The
butcher, returning, offers in recompense to kill one of his fine fat
sheep for supper, and to leave behind him all the meat not eaten. On
this condition he is received, and the family enjoy an excellent supper
in his society. After supper he wins the favor first of the priest's
concubine and afterward of the maid-servant by secretly promising to
each of them the skin of the sheep. In the morning, after he has gone, a
prodigious uproar arises, the priest and the two women each vehemently
claiming the skin, in the midst of which it is discovered that the
butcher had stolen the sheep from the priest's own flock.

From a merry tale of these ages a jest was taken which to-day forms one
of the stock dialogues of our negro-minstrel bands. The story was
apparently designed to show the sorry stuff of which priests were
sometimes made. A farmer sends a lout of a son to college, intending to
make a priest of him, and the lad was examined as to the extent of his
knowledge. "Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob," said the examiner: "who
was Jacob's father?" The candidate, being unable to answer this
question, is sent home to his tutor with a letter relating his
discomfiture. "Thou foole and ass-head!" exclaims the tutor. "Dost thou
not know Tom Miller of Oseney?" "Yes," answered the hopeful scholar.
"Then thou knowest he had two sons, Tom and Jacke: who is Jacke's
father?" "Tom Miller." Back goes the youth to college with a letter to
the examiner, who, for the tutor's sake, gives him another chance, and
asks once more who was Jacob's father. "Marry!" cries the candidate, "I
can tell you now: that was Tom Miller of Oseney."

We must be cautious in drawing inferences from the popular literature of
a period, since there is in the unformed mind a propensity to circulate
amusing scandal, and the satirist is apt to aim his shaft at characters
and actions which are exceptional, not representative. In some of the
less frequented nooks of Europe, where the tone of mind among the people
has not materially changed since the fifteenth century, we still find
priests the constant theme of scandal. The Tyrolese, for example, as
some readers may have observed, are profuse in their votive offerings,
and indefatigable in their pilgrimages, processions, and
observances--the most superstitious people in Europe; but a recent
writer tells us that they "have a large collection of anecdotes,
humorous and scandalous, about their priests, and they take infinite
delight in telling them." They are not pious, as the writer remarks,
"but magpious." The Tyrolese may judge their priests correctly, but a
person who believes in magpious humbug may be expected to lend greedy
ears to comic scandal, and what the Tyrolese do to-day, their ancestors
may have done when Luther was a school-boy.

But of late years the exact, methodical records of the past, the laws,
law-books, and trials, which are now recognized to be among the most
trustworthy guides to a correct interpretation of antiquity, have been
diligently scrutinized, and we learn from them that it was among the
commonest of criminal events for clergymen, in the time of Edward III.
of England, to take part in acts of brigandage. A band of fifty men, for
example, broke into the park and warren of a lady, the Countess of
Lincoln, killed her game, cut down two thousand pounds' worth of timber,
and carried it off. In the list of the accused are the names of two
abbots and a prior. Several chaplains were in a band of knights and
squires who entered an inclosure belonging to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, drove off his cattle, cut down his trees, harvested his
wheat, and marched away with their booty. In a band of seventy who
committed a similar outrage at Carlton there were five parsons. Two
parsons were accused of assisting to break into the Earl of
Northampton's park and driving off his cattle. The prior of Bollington
was charged with a robbery of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs. Five
clergymen were in the band that damaged the Bishop of Durham's park to
the extent of a thousand pounds. These examples and others were drawn
from a single roll of parchment of the year 1348; and that roll, itself
one of three, is only one of many sources of information. The author of
the "History of Crime" explains that the rolls of that year consist of
more than one hundred and twenty skins of parchment, among which there
are few that do not contain a reference to some lawless act committed
by knights or priests, or by a band consisting of both.[10]

[Footnote 10: "History of Crime in England," p. 248, by L. O. Pike,
London, 1873.]

This is record, not gossip, not literature; and it may serve to indicate
the basis of truth there was for the countless allusions to the
dissoluteness of the clergy in the popular writings and pictures of the
century that formed Luther and the Lutherans.

[Illustration: Pastor and Flock. (From the Window of a French Church,
Sixteenth Century.)]

It is scarcely possible in the compass of a chapter to convey an idea of
the burst of laughter that broke the long spell of superstitious terror,
and opened the minds of men to receive the better light. Such works as
the "Decameron" of Boccaccio, which to modern readers is only
interesting as showing what indecency could be read and uttered by fine
ladies and gentlemen on a picnic in 1350, had one character that
harmonized with the new influence. Their tone was utterly at variance
with the voice of the priest. The clergy, self-indulgent, preached
self-denial; practicing vice, they exaggerated human guilt. But the
ladies and gentlemen of the "Decameron," while practicing virtue, made
light of vice, and brought off the graceful profligate victorious. Later
was circulated in every land and tongue the merry tale of "Reynard the
Fox," which children still cherish among the choicest of their literary
treasures. Reynard, who appears in the sculptures of so many convents
and in the illuminations of so many pious manuscripts, whom monks loved
better than their missal, exhibits the same moral: witty wickedness
triumphant over brute strength. The fox cheats the wolf, deludes the
bear, lies to King Lion, turns monk, gallops headlong up and down the
commandments, only to be at last taken into the highest favor by the
king and made Prime Minister. It is not necessary to discover allegory
in this tale. What made it potent against the spell of priestly
influence was the innocent and boisterous merriment which it excited,
amidst which the gloom evoked by priestly arts began to break away.
Innocent mirth, next to immortal truth, is the thing most hostile to
whatever is mingled with religion which is hostile to the interests of
human nature.

And "Reynard," we must remember, was only the best and gayest of a large
class of similar fables that circulated during the childhood of Columbus
and of Luther. In one of the Latin stories given by Mr. Wright in his
"Selection," we have an account of the death and burial of the wolf, the
hero of the tale, which makes a most profane use of sacred objects and
rites, though it was written by a priest. The holy water was carried by
the hare, hedgehogs bore the candles, goats rang the bell, moles dug the
grave, foxes carried the bier, the bear celebrated mass, the ox read the
gospel, and the ass the epistle. When the burial was complete, the
animals sat down to a splendid banquet, and wished for another grand
funeral. Mark the moral drawn by the priestly author: "So it frequently
happens that when some rich man, an extortionist or a usurer, dies, the
abbot or prior of a convent of beasts [_i. e._, of men living like
beasts] causes them to assemble. For it commonly happens that in a great
convent of black or white monks [Benedictines or Augustinians] there are
none but beasts--lions by their pride, foxes by their craftiness, bears
by their voracity, stinking goats by their incontinence, asses by their
sluggishness, hedgehogs by their asperity, hares by their timidity
(because they were cowardly when there was no fear), and oxen by their
laborious cultivation of their land." Unquestionably this author
belonged to another order than those named in his tirade.

A book with original life in it becomes usually the progenitor of a line
of books. Brandt's "Ship of Fools," which was published when Luther was
eleven years old, gave rise to a literature. As soon as it appeared it
kindled the zeal of a noted preacher of Strasburg, Jacob Geiler by name,
who turned Brandt's gentle satire into fierce invective, which he
directed chiefly against the monks. The black friars, he said, were the
devil, the white friars his dame, and the others were their chickens.
The qualities of a good monk, he declared, were an almighty belly, an
ass's back, and a raven's mouth. From the pulpit, on another occasion,
he foretold a coming reformation in the Church, adding that he did not
expect to live to see it, though some that heard him might. The monks
taunted him with looking into the "Ship of Fools" for his texts instead
of the Scripture; but the people heard him eagerly, and one of his
pupils gave the public a series of his homely, biting sermons,
illustrated by wood-cuts, which ran through edition after edition.
Badius, a noted scholar of the time, was another who imitated the "Ship
of Fools," in a series of satirical pieces entitled "The Boats of
Foolish Women," in which the follies of the ladies of the period were

[Illustration: Confessing to God. (Holbein, 1520.) Sale of Indulgences.]

Among the great number of works which the "Ship of Fools" suggested,
there was one which directly and powerfully prepared the way for Luther.
Erasmus, while residing in England, from 1497 to 1506, Luther being
still a student, read Brandt's work, and was stirred by it to write his
"Praise of Folly," which, under the most transparent disguise, is
chiefly a satire upon the ecclesiastics of the day. We may at least say
that it is only in the passages aimed at them that the author is at his
best. Before Luther had begun to think of the abuses of the Church,
Erasmus, in his little work, derided the credulous Christians who
thought to escape mishaps all day by paying devotion to St. Christopher
in the morning, and laughed at the soldiers who expected to come out of
battle with a whole skin if they had but taken the precaution to "mumble
over a set prayer before the picture of St. Barbara." He jested upon the
English who had constructed a gigantic figure of their patron saint as
large as the images of Hercules; only the saint was mounted upon a horse
"very gloriously accoutred," which the people scarcely refrained from
worshiping. But observe this passage in the very spirit of Luther,
though written fifteen years before the reformer publicly denounced

"What shall I say of such as cry up and maintain the cheat of pardons
and indulgences? who by these compute the time of each soul's residence
in purgatory, and assign them a longer or shorter continuance, according
as they purchase more or fewer of these paltry pardons and salable
exemptions?... By this easy way of purchasing pardon, any notorious
highwayman, any plundering soldier, or any bribe-taking judge shall
disburse some part of their unjust gains, and so think all their
grossest impieties sufficiently atoned for.... And what can be more
ridiculous than for some others to be confident of going to heaven by
repeating daily those seven verses out of the Psalms?"

These "fooleries," which Erasmus calls most gross and absurd, he says
are practiced not merely by the vulgar, but by "such proficients in
religion as one might well expect should have more wit." He ridicules
the notion of each country and place being under the special protection
of a patron saint, as well as the kindred absurdity of calling upon one
saint to cure a toothache, upon another to restore lost goods, upon
another to protect seamen, and upon another to guard cows and sheep. Nor
does he refrain from reflecting upon the homage paid to the Virgin Mary,
"whose blind devotees think it manners now to place the mother before
the Son." He utterly scouts and reviles the folly of hanging up
offerings at the shrines of saints for their imaginary aid in getting
the donors out of trouble or danger. The responsibility of all this
folly and delusion he boldly assigns to the priests, who gain money by
them. "They blacken the darkness and promote the delusion, wisely
foreseeing that the people (like cows which never give down their milk
so well as when they are gently stroked) would part with less if they
knew more." If any serious and wise man, he adds, should tell the people
that a pious life is the only way of securing a peaceful death, that
repentance and amendment alone can procure pardon, and that the best
devotion to a saint is to imitate his example, there would be a very
different estimate put upon masses, fastings, and other austerities.
Erasmus saw this prophecy fulfilled before many years had rolled over
his head.

[Illustration: Christ, the True Light. (Holbein, about 1520.)]

It is, however, in his chapters upon the amazingly ridiculous subtleties
of the monastic theology of his time that Erasmus gives us his most
exquisite fooling. Here he becomes, indeed, the merry Erasmus who was so
welcome at English Cambridge, at Paris, at Rome, in Germany, in Holland,
wherever there were good scholars and good fellows. He pretends to
approach this part of his subject with fear; for divines, he says, are
generally very hot and passionate, and when provoked they set upon a man
in full cry, and hurl at him the thunders of excommunication, that being
their spiritual weapon to wound such as lift up a hand against them. But
he plucks up courage, and proceeds to discourse upon the puerilities
which absorbed their minds. Among the theological questions which they
delighted to discuss were such as these: the precise manner in which
original sin was derived from our first parents; whether time was an
element in the supernatural generation of our Lord; whether it would be
a thing possible for the first person in the Trinity to hate the second;
whether God, who took our nature upon him in the form of a man, could as
well have become a woman, a beast, an herb, or a stone; and if he could,
how could he have then preached the gospel, or been nailed to the cross?
whether if St. Peter had celebrated the eucharist at the time when our
Saviour was upon the cross, the consecrated bread would have been
transubstantiated into the same body that remained on the tree; whether,
in Christ's corporal presence in the sacramental wafer, his humanity was
not abstracted from his Godhead; whether, after the resurrection, we
shall carnally eat and drink as we do in this life; how it is possible,
in the transubstantiation, for one body to be in several places at the
same time; which is the greater sin, to kill a hundred men, or for a
cobbler to set one stitch in a shoe on Sunday? Such subtleties as these
alternated with curious and minute delineations of purgatory, heaven,
and hell, their divisions, subdivisions, degrees, and qualities.

He heaps ridicule also upon the public preaching of those profound
theologians. It was mere stage-playing; and their delivery was the very
acme of the droll and the absurd. "Good Lord! how mimical are their
gestures! What heights and falls in their voice! What toning, what
bawling, what singing, what squeaking, what grimaces, what making of
mouths, what apes' faces and distorting of their countenances!" And
their matter was even more ridiculous than their manner. One of these
absurd divines, discoursing upon the name of Jesus, subtly pretended to
discover a revelation of the Trinity in the very letters of which the
name was composed. It was declined only in _three_ cases. That was one
mysterious coincidence. Then the nominative ended in S, the accusative
in M, and the ablative in U, which obviously indicated Summus, the
beginning; Medius, the middle; and Ultimus, the end of all things. Other
examples he gives of the same profound nature. Nor did the different
orders of monks escape his lash. He dwelt upon the preposterous
importance they attached to trifling details of dress and ceremonial.
"They must be very critical in the precise number of their knots, in the
tying-on of their sandals, of what precise colors their respective
habits should be made, and of what stuff; how broad and long their
girdles, how big and in what fashion their hoods, whether their bald
crowns be of the right cut to a hair's-breadth, how many hours they must
sleep, and at what minute rise to prayers."

In this manner he proceeds for many a sprightly page, rising from monks
to bishops and cardinals, and from them to popes, "who _pretend_
themselves Christ's vicars," while resembling the Lord in nothing.
Luther never went farther, never was bolder or more biting, than Erasmus
in this essay. But all went for nothing with the great leader of reform,
because Erasmus refused to abandon the Church, and cast in his lot
openly with the reformers. Luther calls him "a mere Momus," who laughed
at Catholic and Protestant alike, and looked upon the Christian religion
itself very much as Lucian did upon the Greek. "Whenever I pray," said
Luther once, "I pray for a curse upon Erasmus." It was certainly a
significant fact that in the heat of that contest Erasmus should have
given the world a translation of Lucian. But he was a great, wise,
genial soul, whose fame will brighten as that age becomes more justly
and familiarly known to us.

The first place in the annals of such a warfare belongs of right to the
soldiers who took their lives in their hands and went forth to meet the
foe in the open field, braving torture, infamy, and death for the cause.
Such were Luther and his followers. But there is a place in human memory
for the philosopher and the humorist who first made the contest
possible, and then rendered it shorter and easier.



When Luther began the immortal part of his public career in 1517 by
nailing to the church door his ninety-five theses against the sale of
indulgences, wood-engraving was an art which had been practiced nearly a
century. He found also, as we have seen, a public accustomed to
satirical writings illustrated by wood-cuts. The great Holbein
illustrated Erasmus's "Praise of Folly." Brandt's "Ship of Fools," as
well as the litter of works which it called forth, was even profusely
illustrated. Caricatures as distinct works, though usually accompanied
with abundant verbal commentary, were familiar objects. Among the
curiosities which Luther himself brought from Rome in 1510, some years
before he began his special work, was a caricature suggested by the
"Ship of Fools," showing how the Pope had "fooled the whole world with
his superstitions and idolatries." He showed it to the Prince Elector of
Saxony at the time. The picture exhibited a little ship filled with
monks, friars, and priests casting lines to people swimming in the sea,
while in the stern sat comfortably the Pope with his cardinals and
bishops, overshadowed and covered by the Holy Ghost, who was looking up
to heaven, and through whose help alone the drowning wretches were

In talking about the picture many years after, Luther said, "These and
the like fooleries we _then_ believed as articles of faith." He had not
reached the point when he could talk at his own table of the cardinals
as "peevish milksops, effeminate, unlearned blockheads, whom the Pope
places in all kingdoms, where they lie lolling in kings' courts among
the ladies and women."

[Illustration: Papa, Doctor Theologiæ et Magister Fidei.

  "A long-eared ass can with the Bagpipes cope
   As well as with Theology the Pope."--Germany, 1545.]

Finding this weapon of caricature ready-made to his hands, he used it
freely, as did also his friends and his foes. He was himself a
caricaturist. When Pope Clement VII. seemed disposed to meet the
reformers half-way, and proposed a council to that end, Luther wrote a
pamphlet ridiculing the scheme, and, to give more force to his satire,
he "caused a picture to be drawn" and placed in the title-page. It was
not a work describable to the fastidious ears of our century, unless we
leave part of the description in Latin. The Pope was seated on a lofty
throne surrounded by cardinals having foxes' tails, and seeming "_sursum
et deorsum repurgare_." In the "Table-talk" we read also of a picture
being brought to Luther in which the Pope and Judas were represented
hanging to the purse and keys. "'Twill vex the Pope horribly," said
Luther, "that he whom emperors and kings have worshiped should now be
figured hanging upon his own picklocks." The picture annexed, in which
the Pope is exhibited with an ass's head performing on the bagpipes, was
entirely in the taste of Luther. "The Pope's decretals," he once said,
"are naught; he that drew them up was an ass." No word was too
contemptuous for the papacy. "Pope, cardinals, and bishops," said he,
"are a pack of guzzling, stuffing wretches; rich, wallowing in wealth
and laziness, resting secure in their power, and never thinking of
accomplishing God's will."

[Illustration: The Pope cast into Hell. (Lucas Cranach, 1521.)]

The famous pamphlet of caricatures published in 1521 by Luther's friend
and follower, Lucas Cranach, contains pictures that we could easily
believe Luther himself suggested. The object was to exhibit to the eyes
of the people of Germany the contrast between the religion inculcated by
the lowly Jesus and the pompous worldliness of the papacy. There was a
picture on each page which nearly filled it, and at the bottom there
were a few lines in German of explanation; the engraving on the page to
the left representing an incident in the life of Christ, and the page to
the right a feature of the papal system at variance with it. Thus, on
the first page was shown Jesus, in humble attitude and simple raiment,
refusing honors and dignities, and on the page opposite the Pope,
cardinals, and bishops, with warriors, cannon, and forts, assuming
lordship over kings. On another page Christ was seen crowned with thorns
by the scoffing soldiers, and on the opposite page the Pope wearing his
triple crown, and seated on his throne, an object of adoration to his
court. On another was shown Christ washing the feet of his disciples, in
contrast to the Pope presenting his toe to an emperor to be kissed. At
length we have Christ ascending to heaven with a glorious escort of
angels, and on the other page the Pope hurled headlong to hell,
accompanied by devils, with some of his own monks already in the flames
waiting to receive him. This concluding picture may serve as a specimen
of a series that must have told powerfully on the side of reform.[11]

[Footnote 11: From "A History of Caricature," p. 254, by Thomas Wright,
London, 1864.]

[Illustration: "The Beam that is in thine own Eye," A.D. 1540.]

These pictorial pamphlets were an important part of the stock in trade
of the colporteurs who pervaded the villages and by-ways of Germany
during Luther's life-time, selling the sermons of the reformers, homely
satiric verses, and broadside caricatures. The simplicity and directness
of the caricatures of that age reflected perfectly both the character
and the methods of Luther. One picture of Hans Sachs's has been
preserved, which was designed as an illustration of the words of Christ:
"I am the door. He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but
climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." The
honest Sachs shows us a lofty, well-built barn, with a very steep roof,
on the very top of which sits the Pope crowned with his tiara. To him
cardinals and bishops are directing people, and urging them to climb up
the steep and slippery height. Two monks have done so, and are getting
in at a high window. At the open door of the edifice stands the Lord,
with a halo round his head, inviting a humble inquirer to enter freely.
Nothing was farther from the popular caricaturists of that age than to
allegorize a doctrine or a moral lesson; on the contrary, it was their
habit to interpret allegory in the most absurdly literal manner.
Observe, for example, the treatment of the subject contained in the
words, "How wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out
of thine eye, and, behold, a _beam_ is in thine own eye?"

[Illustration: Luther Triumphant. (Paris, 1535.)]

The marriage of Luther in 1525 was followed by a burst of caricature.
The idea of a priest marrying excited then, as it does now in a Catholic
mind, a sense of ludicrous incongruity. It is as though the words
"married priest" were a contradiction in terms, and the relation implied
by them was a sort of manifest incompatibility, half comic, half
disgusting. The spectacle occasionally presented in a Protestant church
of a clergyman ordained and married in the same hour is so opposed to
the Catholic conception of the priesthood that some Catholics can only
express their sense of it by laughter. Equally amazing and equally
ludicrous to them is the more frequent case of missionaries coming home
to be married, or young missionaries married in the evening and setting
out for their station the next morning. We observe that some of Luther's
nearest friends--nay, Luther himself--saw something both ridiculous and
contemptible in his marriage, particularly in the haste with which it
was concluded, and the disparity in the ages of the pair, Luther being
forty-two and his wife twenty-six. "My marriage," wrote Luther, "has
made me so despicable that I hope my humiliation will rejoice the angels
and vex the devils." And Melanchthon, while doing his best to restore
his leader's self-respect, expressed the hope that the "_accident_"
might be of use in humbling Luther a little in the midst of a success
perilous to his good sense. Luther was not long abased. We find him soon
justifying the act, which was among the boldest and wisest of his life,
as a tribute of obedience to his aged father, who "required it in hopes
of issue," and as a practical confirmation of what he had himself
taught. He speaks gayly of "my rib, Kate," and declared once that he
would not exchange his wife for the kingdom of France or the wealth of

But the caricaturists were not soon weary of the theme. Readers at all
familiar with the manners of that age do not need to be told that few of
the efforts of their free pencils will bear reproduction now. Besides
exhibiting the pair carousing, dancing, romping, caressing, and in
various situations supposed to be ridiculous, the satirists harped a
good deal upon the old prophecy that Antichrist would be the offspring
of a monk and a nun. "If that is the case," said Erasmus, "how many
thousands of Antichrists there are in the world already!" Luther was
evidently of the same opinion, for he gave full credit to the story of
six thousand infants' skulls having been found at the bottom of a pond
near a convent, as well as to that of "twelve great pots, in each of
which was the carcass of an infant," discovered under the cellars of
another convent. But, then, Luther was among the most credulous of men.

The marriage of the monk and the nun gave only a brief advantage to the
enemies of reform. The great German artists of that generation were
friends of Luther. No name is more distinguished in the early annals of
German art than Albert Dürer, painter, engraver, sculptor, and author.
He did not employ his pencil in furtherance of Luther's cause, nor did
he forsake the communion of the ancient Church, but he expressed the
warmest sympathy with the objects of the reformer. A report of Luther's
death in 1521 struck horror to his soul. "Whether Luther be yet living,"
he wrote, "or whether his enemies have put him to death, I know not; yet
certainly what he has suffered has been for the sake of truth, and
because he has reprehended the abuses of unchristian papacy, which
strives to fetter Christian liberty with the incumbrance of human
ordinances, that we may be robbed of the price of our blood and sweat,
and shamefully plundered by idlers, while the sick and needy perish
through hunger." These words go to the heart of the controversy.

Holbein, nearly thirty years younger than Dürer, only just coming of age
when Luther nailed his theses to the castle church, did more, as the
reader has already seen, than express in words his sympathy with reform.
The fineness and graphic force of the two specimens of his youthful
talent given on pages 72, 73,[12] every reader must have remarked. Only
three copies of these pictures are known to exist. They appeared at the
time when Luther had kindled a general opposition to the sale of
indulgences, as well as some ill feeling toward the classic authors so
highly esteemed by Erasmus. They are in a peculiar sense Lutheran
pictures, and they give expression to the reformer's prejudices and
convictions. A third wood-cut of Holbein's is mentioned by Woltmann,
dated 1524, in which the Pope is shown riding in a litter surrounded by
an armed escort, and on the other side Christ is seen on an ass,
accompanied by his disciples. These three works were Holbein's
contribution to the earlier stage of the movement.

[Footnote 12: From "Holbein and his Time," p. 241-243, by Alfred
Woltmann; translated by F. E. Bunnett, London, 1872.]

This artist was soon drawn away to the splendid court of Henry VIII. of
England, where, among other works, he executed his renowned paintings,
"The Triumph of Riches" and "The Triumph of Poverty," in both of which
there is satire enough to bring them within our subject. Of these
stupendous works, each containing seventeen or more life-size figures,
every trace has perished except the artist's original sketch of "The
Triumph of Riches." But they made a vivid impression upon the two
generations which saw them, and we have so many engravings, copies, and
descriptions of them that it is almost as if we still possessed the
originals. Holbein's sketch is now in the Louvre at Paris. It will
convey to the reader some idea of the harmonious grandeur of the
painting, and some notion of the ingenious and friendly nature of its
satire upon human life.

[Illustration: The Triumph of Riches. (Holbein, about 1533.)]

In accordance with the custom of the age, the painting bore an
explanatory motto in Latin: "Gold is the father of lust and the son of
sorrow. He who lacks it laments; he who has it fears." Plutus, the god
of wealth, is an old, old man, long past enjoyment; but his foot rests
upon sacks of superfluous coin, and an open vessel before him, heaped
with money, affords the only pleasures left to him--the sight and
conscious possession of the wealth he can never use. Below him Fortuna,
a young and lovely woman, scatters money among the people who throng
about her, among whom are the portly Sichæus, Dido's husband, the
richest of his people; Themistocles, who stooped to accept wealth from
the Persian king; and many others noted in classic story for the part
gold played in their lives. Croesus, Midas, and Tantalus follow on
horseback, and, last of all, the unveiled Cleopatra. The careful driver
of Plutus's chariot is Ratio--reason. "Faster!" cries one of the crowd,
but the charioteer still holds a tight rein. The unruly horses next the
chariot, named Interest and Contract, are led by the noble maidens
Equity and Justice; and the wild pair in front, Avarice and Deceit, are
held in by Generosity and Good Faith. In the rear, hovering over the
triumphal band, Nemesis threatens.

The companion picture, "The Triumph of Poverty," had also a Latin motto,
to the effect that, while the rich man is ever anxious, "the poor man
fears nothing, joyous hope is his portion, and he learns to serve God by
the practice of virtue." In the picture a lean and hungry-looking old
woman, Poverty, was seen riding in the lowliest of vehicles, a cart,
drawn by two donkeys, Stupidity and Clumsiness, and by two oxen,
Negligence and Indolence. Beside her in the cart sits Misfortune. A
meagre and forlorn crowd surround and follow them. But the slow-moving
team is guided by the four blooming girls, Moderation, Diligence,
Alertness, and Toil, of whom the last is the one most abounding in vigor
and health. The reins are held by Hope, her eyes toward heaven.
Industry, Memory, and Experience sit behind, giving out to the hungry
crowd the means of honorable plenty in the form of flails, axes,
squares, and hammers.

These human and cheerful works stand in the waste of that age of
wrathful controversy and irrational devotion like green islands in the
desert, a rest to the eye and a solace to the mind.

When Luther was face to face with the hierarchy at the Diet of Worms,
Calvin, a French boy of twelve, was already a sharer in the worldly
advantage which the hierarchy could bestow upon its favorites. He held a
benefice in the Cathedral of Noyon, his native town, and at seventeen he
drew additional revenue from a curacy in a neighboring parish. The
tonsured boy owed this ridiculous preferment to the circumstance that
his father, being secretary to the bishop of the diocese, was sure to be
at hand when the bishop happened to have a good thing to give away. In
all probability Jean Calvin would have died an archbishop or a cardinal
if he had remained in the Church of his ancestors, for he possessed the
two requisites for advancement--fervent zeal for the Church and access
to the bestowers of its prizes. At Paris, however, whither he was sent
by his father to pursue his studies, a shy, intense, devout lad, already
thin and sallow with fasting and study, the light of the Reformation
broke upon him. Like Luther, he long resisted it, and still longer hoped
to see a reformation _in_ the Church, not outside of its pale. The
Church never had a more devoted son. Not Luther himself loved it more.
"I was so obstinately given to the superstitions of popery," he said,
long after, "that it seemed impossible I should ever be pulled out of
the deep mire."

He struggled out at length. Observe one of the results of his conversion
in this picture, in which a slander of the day is preserved for our

[Footnote 13: From "Musée de la Caricature en France," Paris, 1834.]

[Illustration: Calvin branded. (Paris.)]

Gross and filthy calumny was one of the familiar weapons in the
theological contests of that century. Both sides employed it--Luther and
Calvin not less than others--for it belonged to that age to hate, and
hence to misinterpret, opponents. "Search the records of the city of
Noyon, in Picardie," wrote Stapleton, an eminent controversialist on the
Catholic side, and professor in a Catholic college of Calvin's own day,
"and read again that Jean Calvin, convicted of a crime" (infamous and
unmentionable), "by the very clement sentence of the bishop and
magistrate was branded with an iron lily on the shoulders." The records
have been searched; nothing of the kind is to be found in them; but the
picture was drawn and scattered over France. Precisely the same charge
was made against Luther. That both the reformers died of infamous
diseases was another of the scandals of the time. In reading these
controversies, it is convenient to keep in mind the remark of the
collector of the Calvin pictures: "When two theologians accuse one
another, both of them lie." One of these calumnies drew from Calvin a
celebrated retort. "They accuse me," said he, "of having no children. In
every land there are Christians who are my children."

Another caricature, shown on the following page, representing Calvin at
the burning of Servetus, had only too much foundation in truth.

The reformer was not indeed present at the burning, but he caused the
arrest of the victim, drew up the charges, furnished part of the
testimony that convicted him, consented to and approved his execution.
Servetus was a Spanish physician, of blameless life and warm
convictions, who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. Catholic and
Protestant equally abhorred him, and Protestant Geneva seized the
opportunity to show the world its attachment to the true faith by
burning a man whom Rome was also longing to burn. It was a hideous
scene--a virtuous and devoted Unitarian expiring in the flames after
enduring the extremest anguish for thirty minutes, and crying, from the
depths of his torment, "Jesus, thou Son of the eternal God, have mercy
on me!" But it was not Calvin who burned him. It was the century. It was
imperfectly developed human nature. Man had not reached the
civilization which admits, allows, welcomes, and honors disinterested
conviction. It were as unjust to blame Calvin for burning Servetus as it
is to hold the Roman Catholic Church of the present day responsible for
the Inquisition of three centuries ago. It was Man that was guilty of
all those stupid and abominable cruelties. Luther, the man of his
period, honestly declared that if he were the Lord God, and saw kings,
princes, bishops, and judges so little mindful of his Son, he would
"_knock the world to pieces_." If Calvin had not burned Servetus,
Servetus might have burned Calvin, and the Pope would have been happy to
burn both.

[Illustration: Calvin at the Burning of Servetus.]

One of the best caricatures--perhaps the very best--which the
Reformation called forth was suggested by the dissensions that arose
between the followers of Luther and Calvin when both of them were in the
grave. It might have amused the very persons caricatured. We can fancy
Lutherans, Calvinists, and Catholics all laughing together at the
spectacle of the two reformers holding the Pope by the ear, and with
their other hands fighting one another, Luther clawing at Calvin's
beard, and Calvin hurling a Bible at Luther's head.

On the same sheet in the original drawing a second picture was given, in
which a shepherd was seen on his knees, surrounded by his flock,
addressing the Lord, who is visible in the sky. Underneath is written,
"The Lord is my Shepherd; he will never forsake me." The work has an
additional interest as showing how early the French began to excel in
caricature. In the German and English caricatures of that period there
are no existing specimens which equal this one in effective simplicity.

[Illustration: Calvin, the Pope, and Luther. (Paris, 1600.)]

Perhaps the all-pervading influence of Rabelais in that age may have
made French satire more good-humored. After all efforts to discover in
the works of Rabelais hidden allusions to the great personages and
events of his time, we must remain of the opinion that he was a
fun-maker pure and simple, a court-fool to his century. The anecdote
related of his convent life seems to give us the key both to his
character and his writings. The incident has often been used in comedy
since Rabelais employed it. On the festival of St. Francis, to whom his
convent was dedicated, when the country people came in, laden with
votive offerings, to pray before the image of the saint, young Rabelais
removed the image from its dimly lighted recess and mounted himself upon
the pedestal, attired in suitable costume. Group after group of awkward
rustics approached and paid their homage. Rabelais at length, overcome
by the ridiculous demeanor of the worshipers, was obliged to laugh,
whereupon the gaping throng cried out, "A miracle! a miracle! Our good
lord St. Francis moves!" But a cunning old friar, who knew when miracles
might and might not be rationally expected in that convent, ran into the
chapel and drew out the merry saint, and the brothers laid their knotted
cords so vigorously across his naked shoulders that he had a lively
sense of not being made of wood. That was Rabelais! He was a natural
laugh-compeller. He laughed at every thing, and set his countrymen
laughing at every thing. But there were no men who oftener provoked his
derision than the monks. "How is it?" asks one of his merry men, "that
people exclude monks from all good companies, calling them
feast-troublers, marrers of mirth, and disturbers of all civil
conversation, as bees drive away the drones from their hives?" The hero
answers this question in three pages of most Rabelaisan abuse, of which
only a very few lines are quotable. "Your monk," he says, "is like a
monkey in a house. He does not watch like a dog, nor plow like the ox,
nor give wool like the sheep, nor carry like the horse; he only spoils
and defiles all things. Monks disquiet all their neighborhood with a
tingle-tangle jangling of bells, and mumble out great store of psalms,
legends, and paternosters without thinking upon or apprehending the
meaning of what they say, which truly is a mocking of God." There is no
single theme to which Rabelais, the favorite of bishops, oftener returns
than this, and his boisterous satire had its effect upon the course of
events in Europe, as well as upon French art and literature.

The English caricatures that have come down to us from the era of the
Reformation betray far more earnestness than humor or ingenuity. There
is one in the British Museum which figures in so many books, and
continued to do duty for so many years, that the inroads of the worms in
the wood-cut can be traced in the prints of different dates. It
represents King Henry VIII. receiving a Bible from Archbishop Cranmer
and Lord Cromwell. The burly monarch, seated upon his throne, takes the
book from their hands, while he tramples upon Pope Clement, lying
prostrate at his feet, the tiara broken and fallen off, the triple cross
lying on the ground. Cardinal Pole, with the aid of another dignitary,
is trying to get the Pope on his feet again. A monk is holding the
Pope's horse, and other monks stand dismayed at the spectacle. This
picture was executed in 1537, but, as we learn from the catalogue, the
deterioration of the block and "the working of worms in the wood" prove
that the impression in the Museum was taken in 1631.[14]

[Footnote 14: "Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum,"
Division I., vol. i., p. 2. London, 1870.]

The martyrdom of the reformers in 1555, under Queen Mary of bloody
memory, furnished subjects for the satiric pen and pencil as soon as the
accession of Elizabeth made it safe to treat them. But there is no
spirit of fun in the pictures. They are as serious and grim as the
events that suggested them. In one we see a lamb suspended before an
altar, which the Bishop of Winchester (Gardiner), with his wolf's head,
is beginning to devour; and on the ground lie six slain lambs, named
_Houperus_, _Cranmerus_, _Bradfordus_, _Rydlerus_, _Rogerus_, and
_Latimerus_. Three reformers put a rope round Gardiner's neck, saying,
"_We will not this feloue to raigne over us_;" and on the other side of
him two bishops with wolves' heads mitred, and having sheepskins on
their shoulders, are drinking from chalices. Behind Gardiner are several
men attached by rings through their noses to a rope round his waist. The
devil appears above, holding a scroll, on which is written, "_Youe are
my verye chyldren in that youe have slayne the prophetes_. _For even I
from the begynning was a murtherer._" On the altar lie two books, one
open and the other shut. On the open book we read, "_Christ alone is not
sufficient without our sacrifice_." The only window in the edifice, a
small round one, is closed and barred. Many of the figures in this
elaborate piece utter severe animadversion upon opponents; but none of
them is scurrilous and indecent, except the mitred wolf, who is so
remarkably plain-spoken that the compiler of the catalogue was obliged
to suppress several of his words.

The English caricaturists of that age seem to have felt it their duty to
exhibit the entire case between Catholic and Protestant in each
broadside, with all the litigants on both sides, terrestrial and
celestial, all the points in both arguments, and sometimes the whole
history of the controversy from the beginning. The great expanse of the
picture was obscured with the number of remarks streaming from the
mouths of the persons depicted, and there was often at the bottom of the
engraving prose and verse enough to fill two or three of these pages.
Such extensive works call to mind the sermons of the following century,
when preachers endeavored on each occasion to declare, as they said,
"the _whole_ counsel of God;" so that if one individual present had
never heard the Gospel before, and should never hear it again, he would
hear enough for salvation in that one discourse.

Another of these martyrdom prints may claim brief notice. Two companies
of martyrs are seen, one composed of the bishops, and the other of less
distinguished persons, between whom there is a heap of burning fagots.
Nearly all the figures say something, and the space under the picture is
filled with verses. Cranmer, with the Bible in his left hand, holds his
right in the fire, exclaiming, "_Burne, unworthie right hand!_" Latimer
cries, "_Lord, Lord, receive my spirit!_" Philpot, pointing to a book
which he holds, says, "_I will pay my vowes in thee, O Smithfield!_" The
other characters utter their dying words. The verses are rough, but full
of the resolute enthusiasm of the age:

  "First, Christian Cranmer, who (at first tho foild),
    And so subscribing to a recantation,
  God's grace recouering him, hee, quick recoil'd,
    And made his hand ith flames make expiation.
  Saing, burne faint-hand, burne first, 'tis thy due merit.
  And dying, cryde, Lord Jesus take my spirit.

  "Next, lovely Latimer, godly and grave,
    Himselfe, Christs old tride souldier, plaine displaid,
  Who stoutly at the stake did him behave,
    And to blest Ridley (gone before) hee saide,
  Goe on blest brother, for I followe, neere,
  This day wee'le light a light, shall aye burne cleare.

  "Whom when religious, reverend Ridley spide,
    Deere heart (sayes hee) bee cheerful in y{r} Lord;
  Who never (yet) his helpe to his denye'd,
    & hee will us support & strength afford,
  Or suage y{e} flame, thus, to the stake fast tide,
  They, constantly Christs blessed Martyres dyde.

  "Blest Bradford also comming to the stake,
    Cheerfully tooke a faggott in his hand:
  Kist it, &, thus, unto a young-man spake,
    W{ch} with him, chained, to y{e} stake did stand,
  Take courage (brother) wee shal haue this night,
  A blessed supper w{th} the Lord of Light.

  "Admir'd was Doctor Tailers faith & grace,
    Who under-went greate hardship spight and spleene;
  One, basely, threw a Faggot in his face,
    W{ch} made y{e} blood ore all his face bee seene;
  Another, barberously beate out his braines,
  Whilst, at y{e} stake his corps was bound w{th} chaines."

In many of the English pictures of that period, the intention of the
draughtsman is only made apparent by the explanatory words at the
bottom. In one of these a friar is seen holding a chalice to a man who
stretches out his hands to receive it. From the chalice a winged
cockatrice is rising. There is also a man who stabs another while
embracing him. The quaint words below explain the device: "The man which
standeth lyke a Prophet signifieth godliness; the Fryer, treason; the
cup with the Serpent, Poyson; the other which striketh with the sworde,
Murder; and he that is wounded is Peace." In another of these pictures
we see an ass dressed in a judge's robes seated on the bench. Before him
is the prisoner, led away by a priest and another man. At one side a
friar is seen in conversation with a layman. No one could make any thing
of this if the artist had not obligingly appended these words: "The Asse
signifieth Wrathfull Justice; the man that is drawn away, Truth; those
that draweth Truth by the armes, Flatterers; the Frier, Lies; and the
associate with the Frier, Perjury." In another drawing the artist shows
us the Pope seated in a chair, with his foot on the face of a prostrate
man, and in his hand a drawn sword, directing an executioner who is in
the act of beheading a prisoner. In the distance are three men kneeling
in prayer. The explanation is this: "The Pope is Oppression; the man
which killeth is Crueltie; those which are a-killing, Constant Religion;
the three kneeling, Love, Furtherance, and Truth to the Gospel." In one
of these crude productions a parson is exhibited preaching in a pulpit,
from which two ecclesiastics are dragging him by the beard to the stake
outside. Explanation in this instance is not so necessary, but we have
it, nevertheless: "He which preacheth in the pulpit signifieth godly
zeale and a furtherer of the gospel; and the two which are plucking him
out of his place are the enemies of God's Word, threatening by fire to
consume the professors of the same; and that company which (sit) still
are _Nullifidians_, such as are of no religion, not regarding any
doctrine, so they may bee quiet to live after their owne willes and
mindes." Another picture shows us a figure seated on a rainbow, the
world at his feet, up the sides of which a pope and a cardinal are
climbing. In the middle is the devil tumbling off headlong. The world is
upheld by Death, who sits by the mouth of hell. This is the explanation:
"He which sitteth on the raynebowe signifieth Christ, and the sworde in
his hand signifieth his wrath against the wycked; the round compasse,
the worlde; and those two climing, the one a pope, the other a
cardinall, striving who shall be highest; and the Divell which falleth
headlong downe is Lucifer, whiche through pride fel; he whiche holdeth
the world is Death, standing in the entrance of hell to receyve all
superbious livers."

In another print is represented a Roman soldier riding on a boar, and
bearing a banner, on which is painted the Pope with his insignia. A man
stabs himself and tears his hair, and behind him is a raving woman. This
picture has a blunt signification: "The bore signifieth Wrath, and the
man on his back Mischief; the Pope in the flag Destruction, and the flag
Uncertaine Religion, turning and chaunging with every blaste of winde;
the man killing himselfe, Desperation; the woman, Madness."

There are fourteen specimens in this quaint manner in the collection of
the British Museum, all executed and published in the early part of the
reign of Elizabeth. As art, they are naught. As part of the record of a
great age, they have their value.

[Illustration: Titian's Caricature of the Laocoön.]

Germany, England, and France fought the battle of the Reformation--two
victors and one vanquished. From Italy in that age we have one specimen
of caricature, but it was executed by Titian. He drew a burlesque of the
Laocoön to ridicule a school of artists in Rome, who, as he thought,
extolled too highly the ancient sculptures, and, because they could not
succeed in coloring, insisted that correctness of form was the chief
thing in art. Since Titian's day, parodies of the Laocoön have been
among the stock devices of the caricaturists of all nations.



[Illustration: The Papal Gorgon. (Reign of Elizabeth, 1581.)]

The annexed picture,[15] a favorite with the Protestants of England,
Holland, and Germany for more than a century, is composed of twenty-two
articles and objects, most of which are employed in the Roman Catholic
worship. A church-bell forms the hat, which is decorated by crossed
daggers and holy-water brushes. A herring serves for a nose. The mouth
is an open wine-flagon. The eye is a chalice covered by the holy wafer,
and the cheek is a paten, or plate used in the communion service. The
great volume that forms the shoulders is the mass-book. The front of the
bell-tiara is adorned by a mitred wolf devouring a lamb, and by a goose
holding a rosary in its bill; the back, by a spectacled ass reading a
book, and by a boar wearing a scholar's cap. At the bottom of the
engraving the pierced feet of Christ are seen resting upon two creatures
called by the artist "the Queen's badges." The whole figure of Christ is
supposed to be behind this mass of human inventions; for in the original
these explanatory words are given, "Christ Covered."

[Footnote 15: From "Malcolm's Caricaturing," plate 2, and p. 23. See,
also, "Catalogue of the Prints and Drawings in the British Museum,"
Division I., vol. ii., p. 177.]

It was by this device that Master Batman, at the beginning of the
Puritan period, sought to present to the eye a summary of what the
Reformation had accomplished, and what it had still to fear. Half a
century before, Henry VIII. being still the Defender of the Faith, the
various articles used in Master Batman's satirical picture were objects
of religious veneration throughout Great Britain. They had now become
the despised but dreaded rattle-traps of a suppressed idolatry. From the
field of strife one of the victors gathered the scattered arms and
implements, the gorgeous ensigns and trappings of the defeated, and
piled them upon the plain, a trophy and a warning.

There is no revolution that does not sweep away much that is good. The
reformation in religion, chiefly wrought by Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, and
Calvin, was a movement of absolute necessity to the further progress of
our race. The intelligence of Christendom had reached a development
which was incompatible with respect for the assumptions of the papacy,
and with a belief in the fictions which the papacy had invented or
adopted. The vase must have broken, or the oak planted in it must have
ceased to grow. Nevertheless, those fictions had their beauty and their
use. There was a good and pleasing side to that system of fables and
ceremonies, which amused, absorbed, and satisfied the people of Europe
for a thousand years. If we could concede that the mass of men must
remain forever ignorant and very poor, we could also admit that nothing
was ever invented by man better calculated to make them thoughtlessly
contented with a dismal lot than the Roman Catholic Church as it existed
in the fifteenth century, before the faith of the people had been shaken
in its pretensions. There was something in it for every faculty of human
nature except the intellect. It gave play to every propensity except the
propensity of one mind in a thousand to ask radical questions. It
relieved every kind of distress except that which came of using the
reason. All human interests were provided for in it except the supreme
interest of human advancement.

One must have been in a Catholic community, or else lived close to an
important Catholic church, in order to form an idea of the great part
the Church once played in the lives and thoughts of its members--the
endless provision it made for the _entertainment_ of unformed minds in
the way of festivals, fasts, processions, curious observances, changes
of costume, and special rites. There was always something going on or
coming off. There was not a day in the year nor an hour in the day which
had not its ecclesiastical name and character. In our flowery observance
of Easter and in our joyous celebration of Christmas we have a faint
traditional residue of festivals that once made all Christendom gay and
jocund. And it was all so adapted to the limited abilities of our race!
In an average thousand men, there is not more than one man capable of
filling creditably the post of a Protestant minister, but there are a
hundred who can be drilled into competent priests.

Consider, for example, a procession, which was formerly the great event
of many of the Church festivals, gratifying equally those who witnessed
and those who took part in it. In other words, it gratified keenly the
whole community. And yet how entirely it was within the resources of
human nature! Not a child so young, not a woman so weak, not a man so
old, but could assist or enjoy it. The sick could view it from their
windows, the robust could carry its burdens, the skillful could contrive
its devices, and all had the feeling that they were engaged in enhancing
at once the glory of God, the fame of their saint, the credit of their
town, and the good of their souls. It was pleasure; it was duty; it was
masquerade; it was devotion. Some readers may remember the exaltation of
soul with which Albert Dürer, the first of German artists in Luther's
age, describes the great procession at Antwerp, in 1520, in honor of
what was styled the "Assumption" of the Virgin Mary. One of the pleasing
fictions adopted by the old Church was that on the 15th of August, A.D.
45, the Virgin Mary, aged seventy-five years, made a miraculous ascent
into heaven. Hence the annual festival, which was celebrated throughout
Europe with pomp and splendor. The passage in the diary of Dürer has a
particular value, because it affords us a vivid view of the bright side
of the ancient Church just before the reformers changed its gorgeous
robes into the Puritan's plain black gown, and substituted the long
prayer and interminable sermon for the magnificent ceremonial and the
splendid procession.

Albert Dürer was in sympathy with Luther, but his heart swelled within
him as he beheld, on that Sunday morning in Antwerp, the glorious
pageantry that filed past for two hours in honor of the "Mother of
God's" translation. All the people of the city assembled about the
Church of "Our Lady," each dressed in gayest attire, but each wearing
the costume of his rank, and exhibiting the badge of his guild or
vocation. Silver trumpets of the old Frankish fashion, German drums and
fifes, were playing in every quarter. The trades and guilds of the
city--goldsmiths, painters, masons, embroiderers, statuaries,
cabinet-makers, carpenters, sailors, fishermen, butchers, curriers,
weavers, bakers, tailors, shoe-makers, and laborers--all marched by in
order, at some distance apart, each preceded by its own magnificent
cross. These were followed by the merchants, shop-keepers, and their
clerks. The "shooters" came next, armed with bows, cross-bows, and
firelocks, some on horseback and some on foot. The city guard followed.
Then came the magistrates, nobles, and knights, all dressed in their
official costume, and escorted, as our artist records, "by a gallant
troop, arrayed in a noble and splendid manner." There were a number of
women in the procession, belonging to a religious order, who gained
their subsistence by labor. These, all clad in white from head to foot,
agreeably relieved the splendors of the occasion. After them marched "a
number of gallant persons and the canons of Our Lady's Church, with all
the clergy and scholars, followed by a grand display of characters."
Here the enthusiasm of the artist kindles, as he recalls the glories of
the day:

"Twenty men carried the Virgin and Christ, most richly adorned, to the
honor of God. In this part of the procession were a number of delightful
things represented in a splendid manner. There were several wagons, in
which were representations of ships and fortifications. Then came a
troop of characters from the Prophets, in regular order, followed by
others from the New Testament, such as the Annunciation, the Wise Men
of the East riding great camels and other wonderful animals, and the
Flight into Egypt, all very skillfully appointed. Then came a great
dragon, and St. Margaret with the image of the Virgin at her girdle,
exceedingly beautiful; and last, St. George and his squire. In this
troop rode a number of boys and girls very handsomely arrayed in various
costumes, representing so many saints. This procession, from beginning
to end, was upward of two hours in passing our house, and there were so
many things to be seen that I could never describe them all even in a

In some such hearty and picturesque manner all the great festivals of
the Church were celebrated age after age, the entire people taking part
in the show. There was no dissent, because there was no thought. But the
reformers preached, the Bible was translated into the modern tongues,
the intelligence of Christendom awoke, and all that bright childish
pageantry vanished from the sight of the more advanced nations. The
reformers discovered that there was no reason to believe that the aged
Virgin Mary, on the 15th of August, A.D. 45, was borne miraculously to
heaven; and in a single generation many important communities, by using
their reason even to that trifling extent, grew past enjoying the
procession annually held in honor of the old tradition. All the old
festivals fell under the ban. It became, at length, a sectarian
punctilio _not_ to abstain from labor on Christmas. The Puritan Sunday
was gradually evolved from the same spirit of opposition, and life
became intense and serious.

For it is not in a single generation, nor in ten, that the human mind,
after having been bound and confined for a thousand years, learns to
enjoy and safely use its freedom. Luther the reformer was only a little
less credulous than Luther the monk. He assisted to strike the fetters
from the reason, but the prisoner only hobbled from one cell into
another, larger and cleaner, but still a cell. No one can become
familiar with the Puritan period without feeling that the bondage of the
mind to the literal interpretation of some parts of the Old Testament
was a bondage as real, though not as degrading nor as hopeless, as that
under which it had lived to the papal decrees. You do not make your
canary a free bird by merely opening the door of its cage. It has to
acquire slowly, with anguish and great fear, the strength of wing,
lungs, and eye, the knowledge, habits, and instincts, which its
ancestors possessed before they were captured in their native islands.
It is only in our own day that we are beginning really to enjoy the
final result of Luther's heroic life--a tolerant and modest freedom of
thought--for it is only in our own day that the consequences of peculiar
thinking have anywhere ceased to be injurious.

If there are any who can not yet forgive the Puritans for their
intolerance and narrowness, it must be they who do not know the agony of
apprehension in which they passed their lives. It is the Puritan age
that could be properly called the Reign of Terror. It lasted more than a
century, instead of a few months, and it was during that long period of
dread and tribulation that they acquired the passionate abhorrence of
the papal system which is betrayed in the pictures and writings of the
time. There was a fund of terror in their own belief, in that awful
Doubt which hung over every soul, whether it was or was not one of the
Elect; and, in addition to that, it seemed to them that the chief powers
of earth, and all the powers of hell, were united to crush the true

[Illustration: Spayne and Rome Defeated. (London and Amsterdam, 1621.)]

Examine the two large caricatures, "Rome's Monster" and "Spayne and Rome
Defeated," in the light of a mere catalogue of dates. The Field of the
Cloth of Gold, which we may regard as the splendid close of the old
state of things, occurred in 1520, three years after Luther nailed up
his theses. Henry VIII. defied the Pope in 1533; and twenty years after,
Bloody Mary, married to Philip of Spain, was burning bishops at
Smithfield. Elizabeth's reign began in 1558, which changed, not ended,
the religious strife in England. The massacre of St. Bartholomew
occurred in 1572, on that 24th of August which, as Voltaire used to say,
all the humane and the tolerant of our race should observe as a day of
humiliation and sorrow for evermore. In 1579 began the long struggle
between the New and the Old, which is called the Thirty Years' War. The
Prince of Orange was assassinated in 1584, in the midst of those great
events which Mr. Motley has made familiar to the reading people of both
continents. Every intelligent Protestant in Europe felt that the weapon
which slew the prince was aimed at his own heart. The long dread of the
Queen of Scots' machinations ended only with her death in 1587. Soon
after, the shadow of the coming Spanish Armada crept over Great
Britain, which was not dispelled till the men of England defeated and
the storm scattered it in 1588. In 1605 Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder
Plot struck such terror to the Protestant mind, that it has not, in this
year, 1877, wholly recovered from it, as all may know who will converse
with uninstructed people in the remoter counties of Great Britain.
Raleigh was beheaded in 1618. The civil war began in 1642. In 1665 the
plague desolated England, and in the next year occurred the great fire
of London, good Protestants not doubting that both events were traceable
to the fell influence of the Beast. The accession of James II., a Roman
Catholic, filled the Puritans with new alarm in 1685, and during the
three anxious years of his reign their brethren, the Huguenots, were
fleeing into all the Protestant lands from the hellish persecution of
the priests who governed Louis XIV.

Upon looking back at this period of agitation and alarm, it startles the
mind to observe in the catalogue of dates this one: "Shakspeare died
1616." It shows us, what the ordinary records do not show, that there
are people who retain their sanity and serenity in the maddest times.
The rapid succession of the plays--an average of nearly two per
annum--proves that there was a _public_ for Shakspeare when all the
world seemed absorbed in subjects least akin to art and humor. And how
little trace we find of all those thrilling events in the plays! He was
a London actor when the Armada came; and during the year of the
Gunpowder Plot he was probably meditating the grandest of all his
themes, "King Lear!"

The picture entitled "Spayne and Rome Defeated"[16] was one of the most
noted and influential broadsheets published during the Puritan period.
It may properly be termed a broadsheet, since the copy of the original
in the British Museum measures 20-2/3 inches by 13. The Puritans of
England saw with dismay the growing cordiality between James I. and the
Spanish court, and watched with just apprehension the visit of Prince
Charles to Spain, and the prospect of a marriage between the
heir-apparent and a Spanish princess. At this alarming crisis, 1621, the
sheet was composed in England, and sent over to Holland to be engraved
and printed, Holland being then, and for a hundred and fifty years
after, the printing-house and type-foundry of Northern Europe. Some of
the Pilgrim Fathers of Massachusetts, then residing at Leyden, and still
waiting to hear the first news of the _Mayflower_ company, who had
sailed the year before, may have borne a hand in the work. Pastor
Robinson, we know, gained part of his livelihood by co-operating with
brethren in England in the preparation of works designed for
distribution at home.

[Footnote 16: From Malcolm, who copied it from the original in the
British Museum. See Malcolm's "Caricaturing," plate 22.]

Besides being one of the most characteristic specimens of Puritan
caricature which have been preserved, it presents to us a _résumé_ of
history, as Protestants interpreted it, from the time of the Spanish
Armada to that of Guy Fawkes--1588 to 1605. It appears to have been
designed for circulation in Holland and Germany as well as in England,
as the words and verses upon it are in English, Dutch, and Latin. The
English lines are these:

  "In Eighty-eight, Spayne, arm'd with potent might,
   Against our peacefull Land came on to fight;
   But windes and waves and fire in one conspire,
   To help the English, frustrate Spaynes desire.
   To second that the Pope in counsell sitts,
   For some rare stratagem they strayne their witts;
   November's 5th, by powder they decree
   Great Brytanes state ruinate should bee.
   But Hee, whose never-slumb'ring Eye did view
   The dire intendments of this damned crew,
   Did soone prevent what they did thinke most sure.
   Thy mercyes, Lord! for evermore endure."

This interesting sheet was devised by Samuel Ward, a Puritan preacher of
Ipswich, of great zeal and celebrity, who dedicated it, in the fashion
of the day, thus:

     "To God. In memorye of his double deliveraunce from y{e}
      invincible Navie and y{e} unmatcheable powder Treason, 1605."

It was a timely reminder. As we occasionally see in our own day a public
man committing the absurdity of replying in a serious strain to a
caricature, so, in 1621, the Spanish embassador in London, Count
Gondomar, called the attention of the British Government to this
engraving, complaining that it was calculated to revive the old
antipathy of the English people to the Spanish monarchy. The obsequious
lords of the Privy Council summoned Samuel Ward to appear before them.
After examining him, they remanded him to the custody of their
messenger, whose house was a place of confinement for such prisoners;
and there he remained. As there was yet no habeas corpus act known among
men, he could only protest his innocence of any ill designs upon the
Spanish monarchy, and humbly petition for release. He petitioned first
the Privy Council; and they proving obdurate, he petitioned the king. He
was set free at last, and he remained for twenty years a thorn in the
side of those who dreaded "Spayne and Rome" less than they hated
Puritans and Parliaments.

This persecution of Samuel Ward gave his print such celebrity that
several imitations or pirated editions of the work speedily appeared, of
which four are preserved in the great collection of the British Museum,
each differing from the original in details. Caricatures aimed directly
at the Spanish embassador followed, but they are only remarkable for the
explanatory words which accompany them. In one we read that the
residence of Count Gondomar in England had "hung before the eyes of many
good men like a prodigious comet, threatening worse effects to Church
and State than this other comet," which had recently menaced both from
the vault of heaven. "No ecclipse of the sunne," continues the writer,
"could more damnifie the earth, to make it barraine and the best things
abortive, than did his interposition." We learn also that when the count
left England for a visit to his own country, in 1618, "there was an
uproare and assault a day or two before his departure from London by the
Apprentices, who seemed greedy of such an occasion to vent their own
spleenes in doing him or any of his a mischiefe." Another picture
exhibits the odious Gondomar giving an account of his conduct in England
to the "Spanishe Parliament," in the course of which he attributes the
British abhorrence of Spain to such men as "Ward of Ipswich," whom he
describes as "light and unstayed wits," intent on winning the airy
applause of the vulgar, and to raise their desperate fortunes. Nor does
he refrain from chuckling over the penalty inflicted upon that enemy of
Spayne and Rome: "And I think that Ward of Ipswich escaped not safely
for his lewed and profane picture of '88 and their Powder Treason, one
whereof, my Lord Archbishop, I sent you in a letter, that you might see
the malice of these detestable Heretiques against his Holiness and the
Catholic Church." This broadsheet being entitled "Vox Populi," the
writer concludes his explanation by styling the embassador "Fox Populi,
Count Gondomar the Great."

[Illustration: From Title-page to a Sermon, "Woe to Drunkards," by
Samuel Ward, of Ipswich, 1627.]

Ward of Ipswich continued to be heard from occasionally during the first
years of the reign of Charles I. Ipswich itself acquired a certain
celebrity as a Puritan centre, and the name was given during the
life-time of Samuel Ward to a town in Massachusetts, which is still
thriving. One of his sermons upon drunkenness was illustrated by a
picture, of which a copy is given here,[17] designed to show the
degeneracy of manners that had taken place in England in his day. Mr.
Chatto truly remarks that twenty years later the picture would have been
more appropriate with the inscriptions transposed.

[Footnote 17: From Chatto's "Origin and History of Playing Cards," p.
131, London, 1848.]

The marriage of Charles I. with the Princess Henrietta of France, in
1625, was one of the long series of impolitic acts which the king
expiated on the scaffold in 1649. It aggravated every propensity of his
nature that was hostile to the liberties of the people. Under James I.
the _élite_ of the Puritans had fled to Holland, and a little company
had sought a more permanent refuge on the coast of New England. During
the early years of the reign of Charles, the persecution of the Puritans
by his savage bishops became so cruel and so vigilant as to induce men
of family and fortune, like Winthrop and his friends, accompanied by a
fleet of vessels laden with virtuous and thoughtful families, to cross
the ocean and settle in Massachusetts. Boston was founded when Charles
I. had been cutting off the ears and slitting the noses of Puritans for
five years. All that enchanting shore of New England, with its gleaming
beaches, and emerald isles, and jutting capes of granite and wild roses,
now so dear to summer visitors--an eternal holiday-ground and
resting-place for the people of North America--began to be dotted with
villages, the names of which tell us what English towns were most
renowned for the Puritan spirit two hundred and fifty years ago. The
satirical pictures preserved in the British Museum which relate to
events in earlier reigns number ninety-nine in all; but those suggested
by events in the reign of Charles I. are nearly seven hundred in number.
Most of them, however, were not published until after the downfall of
the king.

Several of these prints are little more than portraits of the
conspicuous persons of the time, with profuse accounts on the same sheet
of their sufferings or misdeeds. One such records the heroic endurance
of "the Reverend Peter Smart, mr of Artes, minister of God's word at
Durham," who, for preaching against popery, lost above three hundred
pounds per annum, and was imprisoned eleven years in the King's Bench.
The composer adds these lines:

  "Peter preach downe vaine rites with flagrant harte;
   Thy Guerdon shall be greate, though heare thou Smart."

Another of these portrait pieces exhibits Dr. Alexander Leighton, who
spoke of Queen Henrietta as "the daughter of Hell, a Canaanite, and an
idolatresse," and spared not Archbishop Laud and his confederates. For
these offenses he was, as the draughtsman informs us, "clapt up in
Newgate for the space of 15 weekes, where he suffered great miserie and
sicknes almost to death, afterward lost one of his Eares on the
pillorie, had one of his nosthrills slitt clean through, was whipt with
a whip of 3 Coardes knotted, had 36 lashes therewith, was fined
1000_ll._, and kept prisoner in the fleet 12 yeares, where he was most
cruelly used a long time, being lodged day and night amongst the most
desperately wiked villaines of y{e} whole prison." He was also branded
on the cheek with the letters S. S.--sower of sedition. Several other
prints of the time record the same mark of attention paid by the
"martyred" king to his Catholic wife. By-and-by, the crowned and mitred
ruffians who did such deeds as these being themselves in durance,
Parliament set Dr. Leighton free, and made him a grant of six thousand

A caricature of the same bloody period is entitled, "Archbishop Laud
dining on the Ears of Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton." We see Laud seated
at dinner, having an ear on the point of his knife and three more ears
in the plate before him, the three victims of his cruelty standing
about, and two armed bishops at the foot of the table. The dialogue
below represents Laud as rejecting with scorn all the dainties of his
table, and declaring that nothing will content him but the ears of
Lawyer Prynne and Dr. Bastwick. He cuts them off himself, and orders
them to be dressed for his supper.

   "_Canterbury._ This I doe to make you examples,
  That others may be more careful to please my palate.
  Henceforth let my servants know, that what I will, I _will_ have done,
  What ere is under heaven's Sunne."

[Illustration: "Let not the World devide those whom Christ hath

A burst of caricature heralded the coming triumph of the Puritans in
1640, the year of the impeachment of the Earl of Strafford. Many of the
pictures recorded both the sufferings and the joyful deliverance of the
Puritan clergymen. Thus we have in one of them a glowing account of the
return of the three gentlemen whose ears furnished a repast for the
Archbishop of Canterbury. They had been imprisoned for many years in the
Channel Islands, from which they were conveyed to Dartmouth, and thence
to London, hailed with acclamations of delight and welcome in every
village through which they passed. All the expenses of their long
journey were paid for them, and presents of value were thrust upon them
as they rode by. Within a few miles of London they were met by such a
concourse of vehicles, horsemen, and people that it was with great
difficulty they could travel a mile in an hour. But when at length, in
the evening, they reached the city, masses of enthusiastic people
blocked the streets, crying, "Welcome home! welcome home!" and strewing
flowers and rosemary before them. Thousands of the people carried
torches, which rendered the streets lighter than the day. They were
three hours in making their way through the crowd from Charing Cross to
their lodgings in the city, a distance of a mile.

It was during the exaltation of the years preceding the civil war that
such pictures appeared as the one here given, urging a union between the
Church of England and the Church of Scotland against the foe of both.
This is copied from an original impression in the collection of the New
York Historical Society.

The caricaturists pursued Laud and Strafford even to the scaffold. The
archbishop was the author of a work entitled "Canons and Institutions
Ecclesiastical," in which he gave expression to his extreme High-church
opinions. In 1640 the victorious House of Commons canceled the canons
adopted from this work, and fined the clergy who had sat in the
Convocation. A caricature quickly appeared, called "Archbishop Laud
firing a Cannon," in which the cannon is represented as bursting, and
its fragments endangering the clergymen standing near. Laud's committal
to the Tower was the occasion of many broadsheets, one of which exhibits
him fastened to a staple in a wall, with a long string of taunting
stanzas below:

  "Reader, I know thou canst not choose but smile
  To see a Bishop tide thus to a ring!
  Yea, such a princely prelate, that ere while
  Could three at once in _Limbo patrum_ fling;
  Suspend by hundreds where his worship pleased,
  And them that preached too oft by silence eas'd;

  "Made Laws and Canons, like a King (at least);
  Devis'd new oaths; forc'd men to sweare to lies!
  Advanc'd his lordly power 'bove all the rest.
  And then our Lazie Priests began to rise;
  But painfull ministers, which plide their place
  With diligence, went downe the wind apace.

  "Our honest Round heads too then went to racke;
  The holy sisters into corners fled;
  Cobblers and Weavers preacht in Tubs for lacke
  Of better Pulpits; with a sacke instead
  Of Pulpit-cloth, hung round in decent wise,
  All which the spirit did for their good devise.

  "Barnes, Cellers, Cole-holes, were their meeting-places,
  So sorely were these babes of Christ abus'd,
  Where he that most Church-government disgraces
  Is most esteem'd, and with most reverence us'd.
  It being their sole intent religiously
  To rattle against the Bishops' dignity.

  "Brother, saies one, what doe you thinke, I pray,
  Of these proud Prelates, which so lofty are?
  Truly, saies he, meere Antichrists are they.
  Thus as they parle, before they be aware,
  Perhaps a Pursuivant slips in behind,
  And makes 'em run like hares before the wind.

  "A yeere agone 'tad been a hanging matter
  T'ave writ (nay, spoke) a word 'gainst little Will;
  But now the times are chang'd, men scorne to flatter;
  So much the worse for Canterbury still,
  For if that truth come once to rule the roast,
  No mar'le to see him tide up to a post.

  "By wicked counsels faine he would have set
  The Scots and us together by the eares;
  A Patriark's place the Levite long'd to get,
  To sit bith' Pope in one of Peter's chaires.
  And having drunke so deepe of Babels cup,
  Was it not time, d'ee think, to chaine him up?"

In these stanzas are roughly given the leading counts of the popular
indictment against Archbishop Laud. Other prints present him to us in
the Tower with a halter round his neck; and, again, we see him in a
bird-cage, with the queen's Catholic confessor, the two being popularly
regarded as birds of a feather. In another, a stout carpenter is holding
Laud's nose to a grindstone, while the carpenter's boy turns the handle,
and the archbishop cries for mercy:

  "Such turning will soon deform my face;
  Oh! I bleed, I bleed! and am extremely sore."

But the carpenter reminds him that the various ears that he had caused
to be cut off were quite as precious to their owners as his nose is to
him. A Jesuit enters with a vessel of holy water with which to wash the
extremely sore nose. One broadsheet represents Laud in consultation with
his physician, who administers an emetic that causes him to throw off
his stomach several heavy articles which had been troubling him for
years. First, the "Tobacco Patent" comes up with a terrible wrench. As
each article appears, the doctor and his patient converse upon it:

"_Doctor._ What's this? A book? _Whosoever hath bin at church may
exercise lawful recreations on Sunday._ What's the meaning of this?

"_Canterbury._ 'Tis the booke for Pastimes on the Sunday, which I
caused to be made. But hold! here comes something. What is it?

"_Doctor._ 'Tis another book. The title is, 'Sunday no Sabbath.' Did
you cause this to be made also?

"_Canterbury._ No; Doctor Pocklington made it; but I licensed it.

"_Doctor._ But what's this? A paper 'tis; if I be not mistaken, a
Star-Chamber order made against Mr. Prinne, Mr. Burton, and Dr.
Bastwicke. Had you any hand in this?

"_Canterbury._ I had. I had. All England knoweth it. But, oh, here
comes up something that makes my very back ake! O that it were up
once! Now it is up, I thank Heaven!

"_Doctor._ 'Tis a great bundle of papers, of presentations and
suspensions. These were the instruments, my lord, wherewith you
created the tongue-tied Doctors, and gave them great Benefices in the
Country to preach some twice a year at the least, and in their place
to hire some journeyman Curate, who will only read a Sermon in the
forenoone, and in the afternoone be drunke, with his parishioners for

By the same painful process the archbishop is delivered of his "Book of
Canons," and finally of his mitre; upon which the doctor says, "Nay, if
the miter be come, the Divell is not far off. Farewell, my good lord."

There still exist in various collections more than a hundred prints
relating directly to Archbishop Laud, several of which give burlesque
representations of his execution. There are some that show him asleep,
and visited by the ghosts of those whom he had persecuted, each
addressing him in turn, as the victims of Richard III. spoke to their
destroyer on Bosworth Field. One of the print-makers, however, relented
at the spectacle of an old man, seventy-two years of age, brought to the
block. He exhibits the archbishop speaking to the crowd from the

  "Lend me but one poore teare, when thow do'st see
   This wretched portraict of just miserie.
   I was Great Innovator, Tyran, Foe
   To Church and State; all Times shall call me so.
   But since I'm Thunder-stricken to the Ground,
   Learn how to stand: insult not ore my wound."

This one poor stanza alone among the popular utterances of the time
shows that any soul in England was touched by the cruel fanatic's bloody

[Illustration: "England's Wolfe with Eagle's Clawes" (Prince Rupert),

During the civil war and the government of Cromwell, 1642 to 1660, nine
in ten of all the satirical prints that have been preserved are on the
Puritan side. A great number of them were aimed at the Welsh, whose
brogue seems to have been a standing resource with the mirth-makers of
that period, as the Irish is at present. The wild roystering ways of the
Cavaliers, their debauchery and license, furnished subjects. The
cruelties practiced by Prince Rupert suggested the annexed illustration,
in which the author endeavored to show "the cruell Impieties of
Blood-thirsty Royalists and blasphemous Anti-Parliamentarians under the
Command of that inhumane Prince Rupert, Digby, and the rest, wherein the
barbarous Crueltie of our Civill uncivill Warres is briefly discovered."
Beneath the portrait of England's wolf are various narratives of his
bloody deeds. One picture exhibits the plundering habits of the
mercenaries on the side of the king in Ireland. A soldier is represented
armed and equipped with the utensils that appertain to good forage: on
his head a three-legged pot, hanging from his side a duck, a spit with a
goose on it held in his left hand as a musket, a dripping-pan on his arm
as a shield, a hay-fork in his right hand for a rest, with a string of
sausages for a match, a long artichoke at his side for a sword, bottles
of canary suspended from his belt, slices of toast for shoe-strings, and
two black pots at his garters. This picture may have been called forth
by an item in a news-letter of 1641, wherein it was stated that such
"great store of pilidges" was daily brought into Drogheda that a cow
could be bought there for five shillings and a horse for twelve.

[Illustration: Charles II. and the Scotch Presbyterians, 1651.

  "_Presbyter._ Come to the grinstone, Charles; 'tis now too late
   To recolect, 'tis presbiterian fate.

  "_King._ Yon Covenant pretenders, must I bee
   The subject of your Tradgie Comedie?

  "_Jockey._ I, Jockey, turne the stone of all your plots,
   For none turnes faster than the turne-coat Scots.

  "_Presbyter._ We for our ends did make thee king, be sure,
   Not to rule us, we will not that endure.

  "_King._ You deep dissemblers, I know what you doe,
   And, for revenges sake, I will dissemble too."]

The abortive attempt of Charles II., after the execution of his father,
to unite the Scots under his sceptre, and by their aid place himself
upon the throne of England, called forth the caricature annexed, in
which an old device is put to a new use. A large number of verses
explain the picture, though they begin by declaring:

  "This Embleme needs no learned Exposition;
   The World knows well enough the sad condition
   Of regal Power and Prerogative.
   Dead and dethron'd in _England_, now alive
   In _Scotland_, where they seeme to love the Lad,
   If hee'l be more obsequious than his Dad,
   And act according to Kirk Principles,
   More subtile than were Delphic Oracles."

In the verses that follow there is to be found one of the few explicit
justifications of the execution of Charles I. that the lighter
literature of the Commonwealth affords:

  "But _Law and Justice_ at the last being done
   On the hated Father, now they love the Son."

The poet also taunts the Scots with having first stirred up the English
to "doe Heroick Justice" on the late king, and then adopting the heir on
condition of his giving _their_ Church the same fell supremacy which
Laud had claimed for the Church of England.

The Ironsides of Cromwell soon accomplished the caricaturist's

  "But this religious mock we all shall see,
   Will soone the downfall of their Babel be."

We find the pencil and the pen of the satirist next employed in
exhibiting the young king fleeing in various ludicrous disguises before
his enemies.

An interesting caricature published during the civil wars aimed to cast
back upon the Malignants the ridicule implied in the nickname of
Roundhead as applied to the Puritans. It contained figures of three
ecclesiastics, "Sound-head, Rattle-head, and Round-head." Sound-head, a
minister sound in the Puritan faith, hands a Bible to Rattle-head, a
personage meant for Laud, half bishop and half Jesuit. On the other side
is the genuine Round-head, a monk with shorn pate, who presents to
Rattle-head a crucifix, and points to a monastery. Rattle-head rejects
the Bible, and receives the crucifix. Over the figures is written:

  "See heer, Malignants Foolerie
   Retorted on them properly,
   The Sound-head, Round-head, Rattle-head,
   Well placed, where best is merited."

Below are other verses in which, of course, Rattle-head and Round-head
are belabored in the thorough-going, root-and-branch manner of the time,
_Atheist_ and _Arminian_ being used as synonymous terms:

  "See heer, the Rattle-heads most Rotten Heart,
   Acting the Atheists _or_ Arminians part."

In looking over the broadsheets of that stirring period, we are struck
by the absence of the mighty Name that must have been uppermost in every
mind and oftenest on every tongue--that of the Lord Protector, Oliver
Cromwell. A few caricatures were executed in Holland, in which "The
General" and "Oliver" and "The Protector" were weakly satirized; but as
most of the plates in that age were made to serve various purposes, and
were frequently altered and redated, it is not certain that any of them
were circulated in England during Cromwell's life-time. English
draughtsmen produced a few pictures in which the Protector was favorably
depicted dissolving the Long Parliament, but their efforts were not
remarkable either with pen or pencil. The Protector may have relished,
and Bunyan may have written, the verses that accompanied some of them:

  "Full twelve years and more these Rooks they have sat
     to gull and to cozen all true-hearted People;
   Our Gold and our Silver has made them so fat
     that they lookt more big and mighty than Paul's Steeple."

The Puritans handled the sword more skillfully than the pen, and the
royalists were not disposed to satire during the rule of the Ironside
chief. The only great writer of the Puritan age on the Puritan side was
Milton, and he was one of the two or three great writers who have shown
little sense of humor.



[Illustration: Cris-cross Rhymes on Love's Crosses, 1640. (Musarum,

What a change came over the spirit of English art and literature at the
Restoration in 1660! Forty years before, when James I. was king, who
loathed a Puritan, there was occasionally published a print in which
Puritans were treated in the manner of Hudibras. There was one of 1612
in which a crown was half covered by a broad-brimmed hat, with verses
reflecting upon "the aspiring, factious Puritan," who presumed to
"overlooke his king." There was one in 1636, in the reign of Charles I.,
aimed at "two infamous upstart prophets," weavers, then in Newgate for
heresy, which contains a description of a Puritan at church, which is
entirely in the spirit of Hudibras:

"His seat in the church is where he may be most seene. In the time of
the Sermon he drawes out his tables to take the Notes, but still noting
who observes him to take them. At every place of Scripture cited he
turnes over the leaves of his Booke, more pleased with the motion of the
leaves than the matter of the Text; For he folds downe the leaves though
he finds not the place. Hee lifts up the whites of his eyes towards
Heaven when hee meditates on the sordid pleasures of the earth; his
body being in God's Church, when his mind is in the divel's Chappell."

Again, in 1647, two years before the execution of Charles, an extensive
and elaborate sheet appeared, in which the ignorant preachers of the day
were held up to opprobrium. Each of these "erronious, hereticall, and
Mechannick spirits" was exhibited practicing his trade, and a multitude
of verses below described the heresies which such teachers promulgated.

  "Oxford and Cambridge make poore Preachers;
   Each shop affordeth better Teachers:
        Oh blessed Reformation!"

Among the "mechannick spirits" presented in this sheet we remark
"Barbone, the Lether-seller," who figures in many later prints as
"Barebones." There are also "Bulcher, a Chicken man;" "Henshaw, a
Confectioner, alias an Infectioner;" "Duper, a Cowkeeper;" "Lamb, a
Sope-boyler," and a dozen more.

Such pictures, however, were few and far between during the twenty years
of Puritan ascendency. But when the rule of the Sound-head was at an
end, and Rattle-head had once more the dispensing of preferment in
Church and State, the press teemed with broadsheets reviling the Puritan
heroes. The gorgeous funeral of the Protector--his body borne in state
on a velvet bed, clad in royal robes, to Westminster Abbey, where a
magnificent tomb rose over his remains--was still fresh in the
recollection of the people of London when they saw the same body torn
from its resting-place, and hung on Tyburn Hill from nine in the morning
until six in the evening, and then cast into a deep pit. Thousands who
saw his royal funeral looked upon his body swinging from the gallows.
The caricatures vividly mark the change. Cromwell now appears only as
tyrant, antichrist, hypocrite, monster. Charles I. is the holy martyr.
His son's flight in disguise, the hiding in the oak-tree, and other
circumstances of his escape are no longer ignominious or laughable, but
graceful and glorious.

A cherished fiction appears frequently in the caricatures that no man
came to a good end who had had any hand in the king's execution, not
even the executioner nor the humblest of his assistants. On one sheet we
read of a certain drum-maker, named Tench, who "provided roapes,
pullies, and hookes (in case the king resisted) to compel and force him
down to the block." "This roague is also haunted with a Devill, and
consumes away." There was the confession, too, of the hangman, who,
being about to depart this life, declared that he had solemnly vowed not
to perform his office upon the king, but had nevertheless dealt the
fatal blow, trembling from head to foot. Thirty pounds had been his
reward, which was paid him in half-crown pieces within an hour after the
execution--the dearest money, as he told his wife, that he had ever
received, for it would cost him his life, "which propheticall words were
soon made manifest, for it appeared that, ever since, he had been in a
most sad condition, and lay raging and swearing, and still pointing at
one thing or another which he conceived to appear visible before him."

[Illustration: Shrove-tide in Arms against Lent, A.D. 1660.]

Richard Cromwell was let off as easily by the caricaturist as he was by
the king. He is depicted as "the meek knight," the mild incapable,
hardly worth a parting kick. In one very good picture he is a cooper
hammering away with a mallet at a cask, from which a number of owls
escape, most of which, as they take their flight, cry out, "_King!_"
Richard protests that he knows nothing of this trade of cooper, for the
more he hammers, the more the barrel breaks up. Elizabeth, the wife of
the Protector, figured in a ludicrous manner upon the cover of a
cookery-book published in the reign of Charles II., the preface of which
contained anecdotes of the kitchen over which she had presided.

[Illustration: Lent tilting at Shrove-tide, A.D. 1660.]

Among other indications of change in the public feeling, we notice a few
pictures conceived in the pure spirit of gayety, designed to afford
pleasure to every one, and pain to no one. Two of these are given
here--Shrove-tide and Lent tilting at one another--which were thought
amazingly ingenious and comic two hundred years ago. They are quite in
the taste of the period that produced them. Shrove-tide, in the
calendar of Rome, is the Tuesday before Lent, a day on which many people
gave themselves up to revelry and feasting, in anticipation of the forty
days' fast. Shrove-tide accordingly is mounted on a fat ox, and his
sword is sheathed in a pig and piece of meat, with capons and bottles of
wine about his body. His flag, as we learn from the explanatory verses,
is "a cooke's foule apron fix'd to a broome," and his helmet "a brasse
pot." Lent, on the contrary, flings to the breeze a fishing-net, carries
an angling-rod for a weapon, and wears upon his head "a boyling kettle."
Thus accoutred, these mortal foes approach one another, and Lent lifts
up his voice and proclaims his intention:

  "I now am come to mundifie and cleare
   The base abuses of this last past yeare:
   Thou puff-paunch'd monster (Shrovetyde), thou art he
   That were ordain'd the latter end to be
   Of forty-five weekes' gluttony, now past,
   Which I in seaven weekes come to cleanse at last:
   Your feasting I will turn to fasting dyet;
   Your cookes shall have some leasure to be quiet;
   Your masques, pomps, playes, and all your vaine expence,
   I'll change to sorrow, and to penitence."

Shrove-tide replies valiantly to these brave words:

  "What art thou, thou leane-jawde anottamie,
   All spirit (for I no flesh upon thee spie);
   Thou bragging peece of ayre and smoke, that prat'st,
   And all good-fellowship and friendship hat'st;
   You'le turn our feasts to fasts! when, can you tell?
   Against your spight, we are provided well.
   Thou sayst thou'lt ease the cookes!-the cookes could wish
   Thee boyl'd or broyl'd with all thy frothy fish;
   For one fish-dinner takes more paines and cost
   Than three of flesh, bak'd, roast, or boyl'd, almost."

This we are compelled to regard as about the best fun our ancestors of
1660 were capable of achieving with pencil and pen. Nor can we claim
much for their pictures which aim to satirize the vices.

[Illustration: The Queen of James II. and Father Petre.

"It is a foolish sheep that makes the wolf her confessor." (1685.)]

The joy of the English people at the restoration of the monarchy, which
seemed at first to be as universal as it was enthusiastic, was of short
duration. The Stuarts were the Bourbons of England, incapable of being
taught by adversity. Within two years Charles II. alarmed Protestant
England by marrying a Portuguese princess. The great plague of 1665,
that destroyed in London alone sixty-eight thousand persons, was
followed in the very next year by the great fire of London, which
consumed thirteen thousand two hundred houses. At a moment when the
public mind was reduced to the most abject credulity by such events as
these, the scoundrel Titus Oates appeared, declaring that the dread
calamities which had afflicted England, and others then imminent, were
only parts of an awful _Popish Plot_, which aimed at the destruction of
the king and the restoration of the Catholic religion. A short time
after, 1678, Sir Edmundsbury Godfrey, the magistrate before whom Titus
Oates made his deposition, was found dead in a field near London, the
victim probably of some fanatic assassin of the Catholic party. The
kingdom was thrown into an ecstasy of terror, from which, as before
observed, it has not to this day wholly recovered. Terror may lurk in
the blood of a race ages after the removal of its cause, as we find our
sensitive horses shying from low-lying objects at the road-side, though
a thousand generations may have peacefully labored and died since their
ancestors crouched from the spring of a veritable wild beast. The
broadsheets of that year, 1678, and of the troublous years following,
even until William of Orange was seated on the throne of England, in
1690, have, we may almost say, but one topic--the Popish Plot. The
spirit of that period lives in those sheets.

It had been a custom in England to celebrate the 17th of November, the
day, as one sheet has it, on which the unfortunate Queen Mary died, and
"that Glorious Sun, Queen Elizabeth, of happy memory, arose in the
English horizon, and thereby dispelled those thick fogs and mists of
Romish blindness, and restored to these kingdoms their just Rights both
as men and Christians." The next recurrence of this anniversary after
the murder of Godfrey was seized by the Protestants of London to
arrange a procession which was itself a striking caricature. A pictorial
representation of the procession is manifestly impossible here, but we
can copy the list of objects as given on a broadsheet issued a few days
after the event. This device of a procession, borrowed from Catholic
times, was continually employed to promulgate and emphasize Protestant
ideas down to a recent period, and has been used for political objects
in our own day. How changed the thoughts of men since Albert Dürer
witnessed the grand and gay procession at Antwerp, in honor of the
Virgin's Assumption, one hundred and fifty-nine years before! The 17th
of November, 1679, was ushered in, at three o'clock in the morning, by a
burst of bell-ringing all over London. The broadsheet thus quaintly
describes the procession:

"About Five o'clock in the Evening, all things being in readiness, the
Solemn Procession began, in the following Order: I. Marched six Whiflers
to clear the way, in Pioneers Caps and Red Waistcoats (and carrying
torches). II. A Bellman Ringing, who, with a Loud and Dolesom Voice
cried all the way, _Remember Justice Godfrey_. III. A Dead Body
representing Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, in the Habit he usually wore, the
Cravat wherewith he was murdered about his Neck, with spots of Blood on
his Wrists, Shirt, and white Gloves that were on his hands, his Face
pale and wan, riding on a White Horse, and one of his Murderers behind
him to keep him from falling, representing the manner how he was carried
from Somerset House to Primrose Hill. IV. A Priest in a Surplice, with a
Cope Embroidered with Dead mens Bones, Skeletons, Skuls, &c., giving
pardons very freely to those who would murder Protestants, and
proclaiming it Meritorious. V. A Priest alone, in Black, with a large
Silver Cross. VI. Four Carmelite Friers in White and Black Habits. VII.
Four Grey Friars in their proper Habits. VIII. Six Jesuits with Bloody
Daggers. IX. A Consort of Wind-musick, call'd the Waits. X. Four Popish
Bishops in Purple and Lawn Sleeves, with Golden Crosses on their
Breasts. XI. Four other Popish Bishops in their Pontificalibus, with
Surplices, Rich Embroydered Copes, and Golden Miters on their Heads.
XII. Six Cardinals in Scarlet Robes and Red Caps. XIII. The Popes Chief
Physitian with Jesuites Powder in one hand, and a ---- in the other.
XIV. Two Priests in Surplices, with two Golden Crosses. Lastly, the Pope
in a Lofty Glorious Pageant, representing a Chair of State, covered with
Scarlet, the Chair richly embroydered, fringed, and bedeckt with Golden
Balls and Crosses; at his feet a Cushion of State, two Boys in
Surplices, with white Silk Banners and Red Crosses, and Bloody Daggers
for Murdering Heritical Kings and Princes, painted on them, with an
Incense-pot before them, sate on each side censing his Holiness, who was
arrayed in a rich Scarlet Gown, Lined through with Ermin, and adorned
with Gold and Silver Lace, on his Head a Triple Crown of Gold, and a
Glorious Collar of Gold and precious stones, St. Peters Keys, a number
of Beads, Agnus Dei's and other Catholick Trumpery; at his Back stood
his Holiness's Privy Councellor, the Devil, frequently caressing,
hugging, and whispering, and oft-times instructing him aloud, to
destroy His Majesty, to forge a Protestant Plot, and to fire the City
again; to which purpose he held an Infernal Torch in his hand. The whole
Procession was attended with 150 Flambeaus and Torches by order; but so
many more came in Voluntiers as made up some thousands. Never were the
Balconies, Windows and Houses more numerously filled, nor the Streets
closer throng'd with multitudes of People, all expressing their
abhorrence of Popery with continual Shouts and Acclamations."

With slow and solemn step the procession marched to Temple Bar, then
just rebuilt, and there it halted, while a dialogue in verse was sung in
parts by "one who represented the English Cardinal Howard, and one the
people of England." We can imagine the manner in which the crowd would
come thundering in with

  "Now God preserve Great Charles our King,
     And eke all honest men;
   And Traytors all to justice bring,
     Amen! Amen! Amen!"

Fire-works succeeded the song, after which "his Holiness was decently
tumbled from all his grandeur into the impartial flames," while the
people gave so prodigious a shout that it was heard "far beyond Somerset
House." For many years a similar pageant was given in London on the same

As an additional illustration of the feeling which then prevailed in
Puritan circles, I will copy the rude and doleful rhymes which accompany
a popular print of 1680, called "The Dreadful Apparition; or, the Pope
haunted with Ghosts." Coleman, Whitebread, and Harcourt, who figure
among the ghosts, had been recently executed as "popish plotters." The
picture shows the Pope in bed, to whom the devil conducts Coleman, and
an angel leads the spirit of Sir Edmundsbury Godfrey. Whitebread and
Harcourt are in shrouds. A bishop, a cardinal, and other figures are
seen. A label issuing from the mouth of each of the persons represented
contains the rhymes which follow:


  "_Away! Away! am not I Pope of Rome,
   torment me not before my time is Come._"


  "_Your Sevt S{r}! Ned Coleman doth appeare
   he'll tell you all, therefore I brought him here._"


  "_S{r} you are Cause of my Continuall paine,
   My Soul is Lost, for your Ambitious gaine._"


  "_Repent great S{r} and be for ever blest,
   in Heaven with me that happy place of rest._"


  "_O Chariety! who mercy craves for those:
   With Bluddy hands that ware his Cruell foes._"


  "_I am perplexed with perpetuall fright;
   but who is this apeares this dreadful night._"


  "_'Tis Godfrey's Ghost I wish all things be well
   that we may have our Pope of Rome in hell._"


  "_Let us depart and Shun their cruell fate,
   and all repent before it is to late._"


  "_Come let us flie with all the Speed we may,
   Ye Devil els will take us all away._"

Below the picture are the verses subjoined:


  "Horrors and Death! what _dismal Sights_ Invade
   His Nightly Slumbers, who in _Blood_ does Trade.
   The Ghostly Apparitions of the Dead;
   The _Bless'd_ by Angels; _Damn'd_ by _Demons Lead_;
   'Tis sure, _Romes_ Conclave _must_ Amazed stand,
   When _Souls_ Complaining, thus against _them_ band;
   Who _All_ but _One_ to please Ambitious ROME,
   Have Gain'd _Damnation_ for Their Final DOOM.
   Hear how _They Curse Him_ all, but _He_ who fell.
   Great _Brittains Sacrifice_ by Imps of Hell;
   Who shew'd _Their Bloody Vengeance_ in the _Strife_,
   To Murther _Him_, who Business had for _Life_."


  "_How do_ my Eye-Balls _Roul_, and Blood _run back_,
   _What Tortures at this sight my Conscience Rack_;
   _Oh!_ Mountains _now fall on me, some Deep Cave_
   Pitty me once, _and prove my speedy Grave_.
   _Involv'd_ in Darkness, _from the Seated_ Light,
   _Let Me abscond_ in _Everlasting Night_.
   Torment _me not_; _you Shades, before my time_,
   _I do confess_, your Downfalls _was_ my Crime;
   To _Satiate my_ Ambition _and_ Revenge,
   _I push'd you on to this Immortal Change_.
   _But Ah! fresh Horrors, Ah! my Power's grown weak_,
   What art thou Fiend? _from whence? or where? O Speak_;
   _That in this Frightful Form, a_ Dragon's _hew
   Presents_ One _Sainted, to_ my _Trembling View?"_


  "By Hells Grim KING'S Command, on _whom_ I wait,
   I've brought your Saint his Story to relate;
   Who from the black _Tartarian_-Fire below,
   So long beg'd Absence as to let you know
   His Torments, and the Horrid Cheat condole,
   You fix'd on him to Rob him of his Soul."


  "_O! spare my Ears, I'll no such Horrors hear;_"


  "You must, and know your _own_ Damnation's near:
   You must ere long be _Plung'd_ in Grizly Flame,
   Which I shall laugh to see, tho, rack'd with pain
   Thou _Grand Deceiver_ of the _Nations_ All,
   Contriver of my _Wretched Fate_ and _Fall_:
   Thou who didst push me on to Murther _Kings_
   Persuading me for it on _Angels Wings_
   I should _Transcend_ the Clouds, be _ever Blest_,   )
   And be of _Al_ that Heav'n cou'd yield, _possest_,  )
   But these I mist, got _Torment_ without _Rest_:     )
   For whilst on _Earth_ I stand, a _Hell_ within
   Distracts my Conscience, pale with horrid Sin:
   Instead of _Mortals_ Pardon, _One_ on High,
   I must your Everlasting Martyr Fry;
   Whilst Name of _Saint_ I bear on Earth, _below_
   It _stirs_ the _flames_, and much Augments _my Woe_."


  "_Horrors! 'tis Dismal, I can hear no more,
   O! Hell and Furies, how I have lost my Pow'r._"


  "See Sir this Crimson Stain, this baleful Wound
   See Murther'd me, with _Joys Eternal_ Crown'd;
   Though by the _Darkest Deed_ of Night I fell,
   Which _shook Three Kingdoms_, and _Astonish'd Hell_:
   Yet rap'd _above_ the Skyes to Mansion bright,
   There to Converse with Everlasting Light;
   Thence got I leave to View thy _Wretched Face_,
   And find my Death thy Hell-born PLOTS did race,
   And next to the _Almighty Arm_ did _Save_
   Great _Albion's_ Glory from its yawning Grave;
   From _Sacred Bliss_ my Swift-_Wing'd Soul_ did glide,
   Conducted _Hither_ by my _Angel-Guide_,
   To let thee know thy Sands were almost run,
   And that thy Thread of _Life_ is well-nigh Spun;
   _Repent_ you then, Wash off the _Bloody Stain_,
   Or _You'll_ be Doom'd to _Everlasting Pain_."


  "Come Worthy _of Seraphick Joys Above_,
   Worthy _Our_ Converse, and _Our Sacred_ Love;
   Who hast Implor'd the Great _Jehove_ for One            )
   Who _Shed_ thy Blood, to _Snatch_ thy Princes _Throne_  )
   In this thy _Saviour's_ Great Examples shown:           )
   Come let _Vs_ hence, and leave _Him_ to his Fate,
   When _Divine Vengeance_ shall the Business State."


  "_Chill Horror seizes me, I cannot flye;
   Oh Ghastly! yet more Apparitions nigh?_"


  "Thus wandering through the _Gloomy Shades_, at last
   I've found _Thee_, Traytor, that _my Joys_ did Blast,
   Whose _Dam'd Injunctions_, _Dire Damnation_ Seal'd,
   And _Torments_ that were never yet Reveal'd:
   Mirrihords of _Plagues_, _Chains_, _Racks_, Tempestuous _Fire_,
   Sulpherian _Lakes_ that Burn and ner Expire,
   Deformed _Demons_, Uglier far than Hell,
   The Half what _We Endure_, no Tongue can _Tell_;
   This for a _Bishoprick_ I Undergo,
   But _Now_ would give Earth's _Empire_ wer't _not so_."


  "_Retire, Good Ghosts, or I shall Dye with Fear._"


  "Nay stay Sir, first You must _my Story_ Hear:
   How could you thus _Delude_ your _Bosome-Friend_?
   Your _Foes_ to _Heaven_, and _Vs_ to _Hell_ thus send;
   _Damnation_ seize You for't; ere long You'll be
   Plung'd _Headlong_ into vast _Eternity_;
   _There_ for to Howl, whilst _We_ some _Comfort_ gain,  )
   To see You welter in an endless Pain,                  )
   And without _Pitty_, justly there Complain."           )


  "_Ho!_ Cardinals and Bishops, _haste with speed_,
   Bell, Book, _and_ Candle _fetch_, _let me be free'd_:
  _Ah! 'tis too late_, by Fear Intranc'd _I lye_."


  "Heard you that Groan? with speed _from hence_ let's flye."


  "The _Fiend_ has got _Him_, doubtless, lets away,
   And in _this_ Ghastly place no longer stay."


  "Dread Horrors seize me, _Fly_, for _Mercy_ call,
   Least _Divine Vengeance_ over-whelm _Vs all_."

It was in this crude and lucid way that the forerunners of Gillray,
Nast, Tenniel, and Leech satirized the murderous follies of their age. A
volume larger than this would not contain the verse and prose that
covered the broadsheets in the same style which appeared in London
during the reign of Charles II. This specimen, however, suffices for any
reader who is not making a special study of the period. To students and
historians the collection of these prints in the British Museum is
beyond price; for they show "the very age and body of the time, his form
and pressure." Perhaps no other single source of information respecting
that period is more valuable.

[Illustration: French Caricature of Corpulent General Galas, who
defeated a French Convoy, 1635.]

From the accession of William and Mary we notice a change in the
subjects treated by caricaturists. If religion continued for a time to
be the principal theme, there was more variety in its treatment. Sects
became more distinct; the Quakers arose; the divergence between the
doctrines of Luther and Calvin was more marked, and gave rise to much
discussion; High Church and Low Church renewed their endless contest;
the Baptists became an important denomination; deism began to be the
whispered, and became soon the vaunted faith of men of the world; even
the voice of the Jew was occasionally heard, timidly asking for a small
share of his natural rights. It is interesting to note in the popular
broadsheets and satirical pictures how quickly the human mind began to
exert its powers when an overshadowing and immediate fear of pope and
king in league against liberty had been removed by the flight of James
II. and the happy accession of William III.

Political caricature rapidly assumed prominence, though, as long as
Louis XIV. remained on the throne of France, the chief aim of politics
was to create safeguards against the possible return of the Catholic
Stuarts. The accession of Queen Anne, the career of Bolingbroke and
Harley, the splendid exploits of Marlborough, the early conflicts of
Whig and Tory, the attempts of the Pretenders, the peaceful accession of
George I.--all these are exhibited in broadsheets and satirical prints
still preserved in more than one collection. Louis XIV., his pomps and
his vanities, his misfortunes and his mistresses, furnished subjects for
hundreds of caricatures both in England and Holland. It was on a Dutch
caricature of 1695 that the famous retort occurs of the Duc de
Luxembourg to an exclamation of the Prince of Orange. The prince
impatiently said, after a defeat, "Shall I, then, never be able to beat
that hunchback?" Luxembourg replied to the person reporting this, "How
does he know that my back is hunched? He has never seen it."
Interspersed with political satires, we observe an increasing number
upon social and literary subjects. The transactions of learned societies
were now important enough to be caricatured, and the public was
entertained with burlesque discourses, illustrated, upon "The Invention
of Samplers," "The Migration of Cuckoos," "The Eunuch's Child," "A New
Method of teaching Learned Men how to write Unintelligibly." There was
an essay, also, "proving by arguments philosophical that Millers, though
falsely so reputed, yet in reality are not thieves, with an intervening
argument that Taylors likewise are not so."

[Illustration: A Quaker Meeting, 1710--Aminidel exhorting Friends to
support Sacheverell.]

A strange episode in the conflict between Whig and Tory was the career
of Sacheverell, a clergyman who preached such extreme doctrines
concerning royal and ecclesiastical prerogative that he was formally
censured by a Whig Parliament, and thus lifted into a preposterous
importance. During his triumphal tour, which Dr. Johnson remembered as
one of the events of his earliest childhood, he was escorted by
voluntary guards that numbered from one thousand to four thousand
mounted men, wearing the Tory badges of white knots edged with gold, and
in their hats three leaves of gilt laurel. The picture of the Quaker
meeting reflects upon the alliance alleged to have existed between the
high Tories and the Quakers, both having an interest in the removal of
disabilities, and hence making common cause. A curious relic of this
brief delirium is a paragraph in the _Grub Street Journal_ of 1736,
which records the death of Dame Box, a woman so zealous for the Church
that when Sacheverell was relieved of censure she clothed herself in
white, kept the clothes all her life, and was buried in them. As long as
Dr. Sacheverell lived she went to London once a year, and carried a
present of a dozen larks to that "high-flying priest."

The flight of the Huguenots from France, in 1685 and 1686, enriched
Holland, England, and the American colonies with the _élite_ of the
French people. Holland being nearest to France, and honored above all
lands for nearly a century as the refuge of people persecuted for
opinions' sake, received at first the greatest number, especially of the
class who could live by intellectual pursuits. The rarest of all
rarities in the way of caricature, "the diamond of the pictorial
library," is a series of burlesque portraits, produced in Holland in
1686, of the twenty-four persons most guilty of procuring the revocation
of the wise edict of Henry IV., which secured to French Protestants the
right to practice their religion. The work was entitled "La Procession
Monacale conduite par Louis XIV. pour la Conversion des Protestans de
son Royaume." The king, accordingly, leads the way, his face a sun in a
monk's cowl, in allusion to his adoption of the sun as a device. Madame
De Maintenon, his married mistress, hideously caricatured, follows. Père
la Chaise, and all the ecclesiastics near the court who were reputed to
have urged on the ignorant old king to this superlative folly, had their
place in the procession. Several of the faces are executed with a
freedom and power not common in any age, but at that period only
possible to a French hand. Two specimens are given on the following

Louis XIV., as the caricature collections alone would suffice to show,
was the conspicuous man of that painful period. The caricaturists
avenged human nature. No man of the time called forth so many efforts of
the satiric pencil, nor was there ever a person better adapted to the
satirist's purpose, for he furnished precisely those contrasts which
satire can exhibit most effectively. He stood five feet four in his
stockings, but his shoe-maker put four inches of leather under his
heels, and his wig-maker six inches of other people's hair upon his
head, which gave him an imposing altitude. The beginning of his reign
was prosperous enough to give some slight excuse for the most richly
developed arrogance seen in the world since Xerxes lashed the
Hellespont, but the last third of his reign was a collapse that could
easily be made to seem ludicrous. There were very obvious contrasts in
those years between the splendors of his barbaric court and the
disgraceful defeats of his armies, between the opinion he cherished of
himself and the contempt in which he was held abroad, between the
adulations of his courtiers and the execrations of France, between the
mass-attending and the morals of the court.

[Illustration: Archbishop of Paris--A Better Friend to Ladies than to
the Pope. (Holland, 1686. By an Exiled Huguenot.)]

[Illustration: Archbishop of Rheims--Mitred Ass. (Holland, 1686. After
the Expulsion of the Huguenots.)]

The caricaturists made the most of these points. Every town that he
lost, every victory that Marlborough won, gave them an opportunity which
they improved. We have him as a huge yellow sun, each ray of which bears
an inscription referring to some defeat, folly, or shame. We have him as
a jay, covered with stolen plumage, which his enemies are plucking from
him, each feather inscribed with the name of a _lost_ city or fortress.
We have him as the Crier of Versailles, crying the ships lost in the
battle of La Hogue, and offering rewards for their recovery. He figures
as the Gallic cock flying before that wise victorious fox of England,
William III., and as a pompous drummer leading his army, and attended by
his ladies and courtiers. He is an old French Apollo driving the sun, in
wig and spectacles. He is a tiger on trial before the other beasts for
his cruel depredations. He is shorn and fooled by Maintenon; he is
bridled by Queen Anne. He is shown drinking a goblet of human blood. We
see him in the stocks with his confederate, the Pope, and the devil
standing behind, knocking their heads together. He is a sick man
vomiting up towns. He is a sawyer, who, with the help of the King of
Spain, saws the globe in two, Maintenon sitting aloft assisting the
severance. As long as he lived the caricaturists continued to assail
him; and when he died, in 1715, he left behind him a France so
demoralized and impoverished that he still kept the satirists busy.

[Illustration: Caricature of Louis XIV., by Thackeray.]

Even in our own time Louis XIV. has suggested one of the best
caricatures ever drawn, and it is accompanied by an explanatory essay
almost unique among prose satires for bitter wit and blasting truth. The
same hand wielded both the pen and the pencil, and it was the wonderful
hand of Thackeray. "You see at once," he says, in explanation of the
picture, "that majesty is made out of the wig, the high-heeled shoes,
and cloak, all _fleurs-de-lis_ bespangled.... Thus do barbers and
cobblers make the gods that we worship."



It was the bubble mania of 1719 and 1720, brought upon Europe by John
Law, which completed the "secularization" of caricature. Art, as well as
literature, learning, and science, was subservient to religion during
the Middle Ages, and drew its chief nourishment from Mother Church.
Since the Reformation they have all been obliged to pass through a
painful process of weaning, and each in turn to try for an independent
existence. The bubble frenzy, besides giving an impulse to the
caricaturist's art it had not before received, withdrew attention from
ecclesiastical subjects, and supplied abundant material drawn from
sources purely mundane.

[Illustration: "Shares! Shares! Shares!"

The Night Share-crier and his Magic Lantern. A Caricature of John Law
and his Bubble Schemes. (Amsterdam, 1720.)]

Above all, the pictures which that mania called forth assisted to form
the great satiric artist of his time and country, William Hogarth. He
was a London apprentice carving coats of arms on silver plate when the
early symptoms of the mania appeared; and he was still a very young man,
an engraver, feeling his way to the career that awaited him, when the
broadsheets satirizing John Law began to be "adapted" from Dutch
originals, and shown in the shop-windows of London. Doubtless he
inspected the picture of the "Night Share-crier," opposite, and noticed
the cock's feather in his hat (indicating the French origin of the
delusion), and the windmill upon the top of his staff. The Dutch
pictures were full of that detail and by-play of which Hogarth was such
a master in later years.

Visitors to New York who saw tumultuous Wall Street during the worst of
our inflation period, and, following the crowd up-town, entered the
Gold-room, where the wild speculation of the day was continued till
midnight, may have flattered themselves that they were looking upon
scenes never before exhibited in this world. What a strange intensity of
excitement there was in those surging masses of young men! What fierce
outcries! What a melancholy waste of youthful energies, so much needed
elsewhere! But there was nothing new in all this, except that we passed
the crisis with _less_ loss and _less_ demoralization than any community
ever before experienced in circumstances at all similar.

When Louis XIV. died in 1715, after his reign of seventy-two years, he
left the finances of France in a condition of inconceivable disorder.
For fourteen years there had been an average annual deficit of more than
fourteen millions of francs, to meet which the king had raised money by
every paper device that had then been discovered. Having previously sold
all the offices for which any pretext could be invented, he next sold
annuities of all kinds, for one life, for two lives, for three lives,
and in perpetuity. Then he issued all known varieties of promises to
pay, from _rentes perpétuelles_ to treasury-notes of a few francs,
payable on demand. But there was one thing he did not do--reduce the
expenditure of his enormous and extravagant court. In the midst of that
deficit, when his ministers were at their wits' end to carry on the
government from day to day, and half the lackeys of Paris held the
depreciated royal paper, the old king ordered one more of those
magnificent fêtes at Fontainebleau which had, as he thought, shed such
lustre on his reign. The fête would cost four millions, the treasury was
empty, and treasury-notes had fallen to thirty-five. While an anxious
minister was meditating the situation, he chanced to see in his inner
office two valets slyly scanning the papers on his desk, for the
purpose, as he instantly conjectured, of getting news for the
speculators. He conceived an idea. The next time those enterprising
valets found themselves alone in the same cabinet, they were so happy as
to discover on the desk the outlines of a royal lottery scheme for the
purpose of paying off a certain class of treasury-notes. The news was
soon felt in the street. Those notes mysteriously rose in a few days
from thirty-five to eighty-five; and while they were at that point the
minister, anticipating the Fiskian era, slipped upon the market thirty
millions of the same notes. The king had his fête; and when next he
borrowed money of his subjects, for every twenty-five francs of coin he
was obliged to give a hundred-franc note.[18]

[Footnote 18: "Law, son Système et son Époque," p. 2, par P. A. Cochut,
Paris, 1853.]

Two years after, the foolish old king died, leaving, besides a
consolidated debt of bewildering magnitude, a floating debt, then due
and overdue, of seven hundred and eighty-nine millions, equivalent, as
M. Cochut computes, to about twice the amount in money of to-day. Coin
had vanished; the royal paper was at twenty-five; the treasury was void;
prices were distressingly high; some provinces refused to pay taxes;
trade languished; there were vast numbers of workmen unemployed; and
during the winter after the king's death a considerable number of
persons died in Paris of cold and hunger. The only prosperous people
were Government contractors, farmers of the revenue, brokers, and
speculators in the king's paper; and these classes mocked the misery of
their fellow-citizens by an ostentatious and tasteless profusion.

[Illustration: Island of Madhead.

"Picture of the very famous Island of Madhead. Situated in Share Sea,
and inhabited by a multitude of all kinds of people, to which is given
the general name of Shareholders." (Amsterdam, 1720.)]

The natural successor of a king bigoted is a prince dissolute. The
regent, who had to face this state of things on behalf of his nephew,
Louis XV., a child of five, had at least the virtue and good sense to
reject with indignant scorn the proposition made in his council by one
member to declare France bankrupt and begin a new reign by opening a
clean set of books. We, too, had our single repudiator, who fared no
better than his French predecessor. But the regent's next measures were
worthy of a prodigal. He called in the various kinds of public paper,
and offered in exchange a new variety, called _billets d'état_, bearing
interest at four per cent. But the public not responding to the call,
the new bills fell to forty in twenty-four hours, and drew down all
other public paper, until in a few days the royal promise to pay one
hundred francs was worth twenty francs. The regent's coffers did not
fill. That scarred veterans could not get their pensions paid was an
evil which could be borne; but the regent had mistresses to appease!

Then he tried a system of _squeezing_ the rich contractors and others of
the vermin class who batten on a sick body-politic. As informers were to
have half the product of the squeeze, an offended lackey had only to
denounce his master, to get him tried on a charge of having made too
much money. Woe to the plebeian who was convicted of this crime! Besides
being despoiled of his property, Paris saw him, naked to the shirt, a
rope round his neck, a penitential candle in his handcuffed hands, tied
to a dirty cart and dragged to the pillory, carrying on his back a large
label, "PLUNDERER OF THE PEOPLE." The French pillory was a revolving
platform, so that all the crowd had an equal chance to hurl mud and
execration at the fixed and pallid face. Judge if there was not a making
haste to compound with a government capable of such squeezing! There was
also a mounting in hot haste to get out of such a France. One lucky
merchant crossed the frontier, dressed as a peasant, driving a cart-load
of straw, under which was a chest of gold. A train of fourteen carts
loaded with barrels of wine was stopped, and in each barrel a keg of
gold was found, which was emptied into the royal treasury.

The universal consternation and the utter paralysis of business which
resulted from these violent spoliations may be imagined. Six thousand
persons were tried, who confessed to the possession of twelve hundred
millions of francs. The number of the condemned was four thousand four
hundred and ten, and the sum extorted from them was, nominally, nearly
four hundred millions, of which, however, less than one hundred millions
reached the treasury. It was easy for a rich man to compound. A person
condemned to disgorge twelve hundred thousand francs was visited by a
"great lord." "Give me three hundred thousand francs," said the great
lord, "and you won't be troubled for the rest." To which the merchant
replied, "Really, my lord, you come too late, for I have already made a
bargain with madame, your wife, for a hundred and fifty thousand." Thus
the business of busy and frugal France was brought to a stand without
relieving the Government. The royal coffers would not fill; the deficit
widened; the royal paper still declined; the poor were hungry; and, oh,
horror! the regent's mistresses pouted. The Government debased the coin.
But that, too, proved an aggravation of the evil.

Such was that _ancien régime_ which still has its admirers; such are the
consequences of placing a great nation under the rule of the greatest
fool in it; and such were the circumstances which gave the Scotch
adventurer, John Law, his opportunity to madden and despoil France, so
often a prey to the alien.

Two hundred years ago, when John Law, a rich goldsmith's son, was a boy
in Edinburgh, goldsmiths were dealers in coin as well as in plate, and
hence were bankers and brokers as well as manufacturers. They borrowed,
lent, exchanged, and assayed money, and therefore possessed whatever
knowledge of finance there was current in the world. It was in his
father's counting-room that John Law acquired that taste for financial
theories and combinations which distinguished him even in his youth. But
the sagacious and practical goldsmith died when his son was fourteen,
and left him a large inheritance in land and money. The example of Louis
XIV. and Charles II. having brought the low vices into high fashion
throughout Europe, it is not surprising that Law's first notoriety
should have been owing to a duel about a mistress. A man of fashion in
Europe in Louis XIV.'s time was a creature gorgeously attired in lace
and velvet, and hung about with ringlets made of horse-hair, who passed
his days in showing the world how much there was in him of the goat, the
monkey, and the pig. Law had the impudence to establish his mistress in
a respectable lodging-house, which led to his being challenged by a
gentleman who had a sister living there. Law killed his man on the
field--"not fairly," as John Evelyn records--and he was convicted of
murder. The king pardoned, but detained him in prison, from which he
escaped, went to the Continent, and resumed his career, being at once a
man of fashion, a gambler, and a connoisseur in finance. He used to
attend card-parties, followed by a footman carrying two bags, each
containing two thousand louis-d'ors, and once during the life-time of
the old king he was ordered out of Paris on the ground that he
"understood the games he had introduced into the capital _too well_."

Twenty years elapsed from the time of his flight from a London prison.
He was forty-four years of age, possessed nearly a million and
three-quarters of francs in cash, producible on the green cloth at a
day's notice, and was the most plausible talker on finance in Europe.
This last was a bad symptom, indeed, for it is well known that men who
remain victors in finance, who really do extricate estates and countries
from financial difficulties, are not apt to talk very effectively on the
subject. Successful finance is little more than paying your debts and
living within your income, neither of which affords material for
striking rhetoric. Alexander Hamilton, for example, talked finance in a
taking manner; but it was Albert Gallatin who quietly reduced the
country's debt. Fifteen days after the death of the old king, Law was in
Paris with all that he possessed, and in a few months he was deep in the
confidence of the regent. His fine person, his winning manners, his
great wealth, his constant good fortune, his fluent and plausible
tongue, his popular vices, might not have sufficed to give him
ascendency if he had not added to these the peculiar force that is
derived from sincerity. That he believed in his own "system" is shown by
his risking his whole fortune in it. And it is to his credit that the
first use he made of his influence was to show that the spoliations, the
debasing of the coin, and all measures that inspired terror, and thus
tightened unduly the clutch upon capital, could not but aggravate
financial distress.

His "system" was delightfully simple. Bear in mind that almost every one
in Paris who had any property at all held the king's paper, worth
one-quarter or one-fifth of its nominal value. Whatever project Law set
on foot, whether a royal bank, a scheme for settling and trading with
Louisiana, for commerce with the East Indies, or farming the revenues,
any one could buy shares in it on terms like these: one-quarter of the
price in coin, and three-quarters in paper at its nominal value.

The system was not immediately successful, and it was only in the teeth
of powerful opposition that he could get his first venture, the bank, so
much as authorized. Mark how clearly one of the council, the Duc de
Saint-Simon, comprehended the weakness of a despotism to which he owed
his personal importance. "An establishment," said he, "of the kind
proposed may be in itself good; but it is so only in a republic, or in
such a monarchy as England, where _the finances are controlled
absolutely by those who furnish the money_, and who furnish only as much
of it as they choose, and in the way they choose. But in a light and
changing government like that of France, solidity would be necessarily
wanting, since a king or, in his name, a mistress, a minister,
favorites, and, still more, an extreme necessity, could overturn the
bank, which would present a temptation at once too great and too easy."
Law, therefore, was obliged to alter his plan, and give his bank at
first a board of directors not connected with the Government.

Gradually the "system" made its way. The royal paper beginning to rise
in value, the holders were in good humor, and disposed to buy into other
projects on similar terms. The Louisiana scheme may serve as an example
of Law's method. Six years before, a great merchant of Paris, Antoine
Crozat, had bought from the old king the exclusive right to trade with a
vast unknown region in North America called Louisiana; but after five
years of effort and loss he became discouraged, and offered to sell his
right to the creator of the bank. Law, accepting the offer, speedily
launched a magnificent scheme: capital one hundred millions of francs,
in shares of five hundred francs, purchasable _wholly_ in those new
treasury-notes bearing four per cent. interest, then at a discount of
seventy per cent. Maps of this illimitable virgin land were published.
Pictures were exhibited, in which crowds of interesting naked savages,
male and female, were seen running up to welcome arriving Frenchmen; and
under the engraving a gaping Paris crowd could read, "In this land are
seen mountains filled with gold, silver, copper, lead, quicksilver; and
the savages, not knowing their value, gladly exchange pieces of gold and
silver for knives, iron pots, a small looking-glass, or even a little
brandy." One picture was addressed to pious souls; for even at that
early day, as at present, there was occasionally observed a curious
alliance between persons engaged in the promotion of piety and those
employed in the pushing of shares. This work exhibited a group of
Indians kneeling before some reverend fathers of the Society of Jesus.
Under it was written, "Indian Idolaters imploring Baptism."

[Illustration: Speculative Map of Louisiana.]

The excitement, once kindled, was stimulated by lying announcements of
the sailing of great fleets for Louisiana laden with merchandise and
colonists; of the arrival of vessels with freights worth "millions;" of
the establishment of a silk-factory, wherein twelve thousand women of
the Natchez tribe were employed; of the bringing of Louisiana ingots to
the Mint to be assayed; of the discovery in Arkansas of a great rock of
emerald, and the dispatch of Captain Laharpe with a file of twenty-two
men to take possession of the same. In 1718 Law sent engineers to
Louisiana, who did something toward laying out its future capital, which
he named New Orleans, in honor of his patron, the regent.

The royal paper rose rapidly under this new demand. Other schemes
followed, until John Law, through his various companies, seemed about to
"run" the kingdom of France by contract, farming all its revenues,
transacting all its commerce, and, best of all, paying all its debts!
Madness, ruled the hour. The depreciated paper rose, rose, and still
rose; reached par; went beyond par, until gold and silver were at a
discount of ten per cent. The street named Quincampoix, the centre and
vortex of this whirl of business, a mere lane twenty feet wide and a
quarter of a mile long, was crowded with excited people from morning
till night, and far into the night, so that the inhabitants of the
quarter sent to the police a formal complaint that they could get no
sleep. Nobles, lackeys, bishops, monks, merchants, soldiers, women,
pickpockets, foreigners, all resorted to _La Rue_, "panting, yelling,
operating, snatching papers, counting crowns," making up a scene of
noisy confusion unexampled. One man hired all the vacant houses in the
street, and made a fortune by subletting offices and desk-room, even
placing sentry-boxes on some of the roofs, and letting them at a good
price. The excitement spread over France, reached Holland, and drew to
Paris, as was estimated at the time, five hundred thousand strangers,
places in the public vehicles being engaged "two months in advance," and
commanding a high premium.

There were the most extraordinary acquisitions of fortune. People
suddenly enriched were called _Mississippiens_, and they behaved as the
victims of sudden wealth, unearned, usually do. Men who were lackeys one
week kept lackeys the next. A _garçon_ of a wine-shop gained twenty
millions. A cobbler, who had a stall in the Rue Quincampoix made of four
planks, cleared away his traps and let his boards to ladies as seats,
and sold pens, paper, and ink to operators, making two hundred francs a
day by both trades. Men gained money by hiring out their backs as
writing-desks, bending over while operators wrote out their contracts
and calculations. One little hunchback made a hundred and fifty thousand
francs by thus serving as a _pupitre ambulant_ (strolling desk), and a
broad-shouldered soldier gained money enough in the same way to buy his
discharge and retire to the country upon a pretty farm. The general
trade of the city was stimulated to such a degree that for a while the
novel spectacle was presented of a community almost every member of
which was prosperous beyond his hopes; for even in the Rue Quincampoix
itself, although some men gained more money than others, no one appeared
to lose any thing. And all this seemed the work of one man, the great,
the incomparable "Jean Lass," as he was then called in Paris. It was a
social distinction to be able to say, "I have seen him!" His carriage
could with difficulty force its way through the rapturous, admiring
crowd. Princes and nobles thronged his antechamber, a duchess publicly
kissed his hand, and the regent made him controller-general of the

This madness lasted eight months. No one needs to be told what followed
it--how a chill first came over the feverish street, a vague
apprehension, not confessed, but inspiring a certain wish to "realize."
Dread word, REALIZE! The tendency to realize was adroitly checked by
Law, aided by operators who desired to "unload;" but the unloading, once
suspected, converted the realizing tendency into a wild, ungovernable
rush, which speedily brought ruin to thousands, and long prostration
upon France. John Law, who in December, 1719, was the idol of Paris,
ready to perish of his celebrity, escaped with difficulty from the
kingdom in December, 1720, hated, despised, impoverished, to resume his
career as elegant gambler in the drawing-rooms of Germany and Italy.

As the "system" collapsed in France, it acquired vogue in England,
where, also, it originated in the desire to get rid of the public debt
by brilliant finance instead of the homely and troublesome method of
paying it. In London, besides the original South Sea Company which began
the frenzy, there were started in the course of a few months about two
hundred joint-stock schemes, many of which, as given in Anderson's
"History of Commerce," are of almost incredible absurdity. The sum
called for by these projects was three hundred millions of pounds
sterling, which was more than the value of all the land in Great
Britain. Shares in Sir Richard Steele's "fish-pool for bringing fresh
fish to London" brought one hundred and sixty pounds a share! Men paid
seventy pounds each for "permits," which gave them merely the
_privilege_ of subscribing to a sail-cloth manufacturing company not yet
formed. There was, indeed, a great trade in "permits" to subscribe to
companies only planned. Here are a few of the schemes: for raising hemp
in Pennsylvania; "Puckle's machine gun;" settling the Bahamas; "wrecks
to be fished for on the Irish coast;" horse and cattle insurance;
"insurance and improvement of children's fortunes;" "insurance of losses
by servants;" "insurance against theft and robbery;" insuring
remittances; "to make salt-water fresh;" importing walnut-trees from
Virginia; improving the breed of horses; purchasing forfeited estates;
making oil from sunflowers; planting mulberry-trees and raising
silk-worms; extracting silver from lead; making quicksilver malleable;
capturing pirates; "for importing a number of large jackasses from Spain
in order to propagate a larger kind of mules;" trading in human hair;
"for fatting of hogs;" "for the encouragement of the industrious;"
perpetual motion; making pasteboard; furnishing funerals.

There was even a company formed and shares sold for carrying out an
"undertaking which shall in due time be revealed." The word "puts," now
so familiar in Wall Street, appears in these transactions of 1720. "Puts
and refusals" were sold in vast amounts. The prices paid for shares
during the half year of this mania were as remarkable as the schemes
themselves. South Sea shares of a hundred pounds par value reached a
thousand pounds. It was a poor share that did not sell at five times its
original price. As in France, so in England, the long heads, like Sir
Robert Walpole and Alexander Pope, began to think of "realizing" when
they had gained a thousand per cent. or so upon their ventures; and, in
a very few days, realizing, in its turn, became a mania; and all those
paper fortunes shrunk and crumpled into nothingness.

So many caricatures of these events appeared in Amsterdam and London
during the year 1720 that the collection in the British Museum, after
the lapse of a hundred and fifty-five years, contains more than a
hundred specimens. I have myself eighty, several of which include from
six to twenty-four distinct designs. Like most of the caricatures of
that period, they are of great size, and crowded with figures, each
bearing its label of words, with a long explanation in verse or prose at
the bottom of the sheet. As a rule, they are destitute of the point that
can make a satirical picture interesting after the occasion is past. In
one we see the interior of an Exchange filled with merchants running
wildly about, each uttering words appropriate to the situation: "To-day
I have gained ten thousand!" "Who has money to lend at two per cent.?"
"A strait-jacket is what I shall want;" "Damned is this wind business."
This picture, which originated in Amsterdam, is called "The Wind-buyers
paid in Wind," and it contains at the bottom three columns of
explanatory verse in Dutch, of which the following is the purport:

[Illustration: John Law, Wind Monopolist. (Amsterdam, 1720.)

"_Law loquitur._ The wind is my treasure, cushion, and foundation.
Master of the wind, I am master of life, and my wind monopoly becomes
straightway the object of idolatry. Less rapidly turn the sails of the
windmill on my head than the price of shares in my foolish

"Come, gentlemen, weavers, peasants, tailors! Whoever has relied on wind
for his profit can find his picture here. They rave like madmen. See the
French, the English, the Hebrew, and Jack of Bremen! Hear what a scream
the absurd Dutch are making on the exchange of Europe! There is Fortune
throwing down some charming wishes to silly mortals, while virtue, art,
and intellect are despised and impoverished in the land; shops and
counting-houses are empty; trade is ruined. All this is QUINCAMPOIX!"

The Dutch caricaturists recurred very often to the _windy_ character of
the share business. In several of their works we see a puffy wind-god
blowing up pockets to a great size, inflating share-bags, and wafting
swiftly along vehicles with spacious sails. The bellows play a
conspicuous and not always decorous part. Jean Law is exhibited as a
"wind monopolist." In one picture he appears assisting Atlas and others
to bear up great globes of wind. Kites are flying and windmills
revolving in several pictures. Pigeons fly away with shares in their
bills. The hunchback who served as a walking desk is repeated many
times. The Tower of Babel, the mad-house, the hospital, the whirligig, a
garden maze, the lottery wheel, the drum, the magic lantern, the
soap-bubble, the bladder, dice, the swing--whatever typifies pretense,
uncertainty, or confusion was brought into the service. One Dutch
broadsheet (sixteen inches by twenty), now before me, contains
fifty-four finely executed designs, each of which burlesques a scene in
Law's career, or a device of his finance, the whole making a pack of
"wind cards for playing a game of wind."

Most of the Dutch pictures were "adapted" into English, and the adapters
added verses which, in some instances, were better than the caricatures.
A few of the shorter specimens may be worth the space they occupy, and
give the reader a feeling of the situation not otherwise attainable. Of
the pictures scarcely one would either bear or reward reduction, so
large are they, so crowded with objects, and their style uninterestingly
obsolete or boorishly indecent.

On Puckle's Machine Gun:

  "A rare invention to destroy the crowd
   Of fools at home instead of foes abroad.
   Fear not, my friends, this terrible machine--
   They're only wounded that have shares therein."

On the Saltpetre Company (two and sixpence a share):

  "Buy petre stock, let me be your adviser;
   'Twill make you, though not richer, much the wiser."

On the German Timber Company:

  "You that are rich and hasty to be poor,
   Buy timber export from the German shore;
   For gallowses built up of foreign wood,
   If rightly used, will do Change Alley good."

On the Pennsylvania Company:

  "Come all ye saints that would for little buy
   Great tracts of land, and care not where they lie;
   Deal with your Quaking Friends; they're men of light;
   Their spirit hates deceit and scorns to bite."

On the Ship-building Company:

  "To raise fresh barks must surely be amusing,
   When hundreds rot in docks for want of using."

On Settling the Bahamas:

  "Rare, fruitful isles, where not an ass can find
   A verdant tuft or thistle to his mind.
   How, then, must those poor silly asses fare
   That leave their native land to settle there?"

On a South Sea Speculator imploring Alms through his Prison Bars:

  "Behold a poor dejected wretch,
     Who kept a S---- Sea coach of late,
   But now is glad to humbly catch
     A penny at the prison grate.

  "What ruined numbers daily mourn
     Their groundless hopes and follies past,
   Yet see not how the tables turn,
     Or where their money flies at last!

  "Fools lost when the directors won,
     But now the poor directors lose;
   And where the S---- Sea stock will run,
     Old Nick, the first projector, knows."

On a Picture of Change Alley:

  "Five hundred millions, notes and bonds,
     Our stocks are worth in value;
   But neither lie in goods, or lands,
     Or money, let me tell ye.
   Yet though our foreign trade is lost,
     Of mighty wealth we vapor,
   When all the riches that we boast
     Consist in scraps of paper."

On a "Permit:"

  "You that have money and have lost your wits,
   If you'd be poor, buy National Permits;
   Their stock's in fish, the fish are still in water,
   And for your coin you may go fish hereafter."

On a Roomful of Ladies buying Stocks of a Jew and a Gentile:

  "With Jews and Gentiles, undismayed,
     Young tender virgins mix;
   Of whiskers nor of beards afraid,
     Nor all their cozening tricks.

  "Bright jewels, polished once to deck
     The fair one's rising breast,
   Or sparkle round her ivory neck,
     Lie pawned in iron chest.

  "The gentle passions of the mind
     How avarice controls!
   E'en love does now no longer find
     A place in female souls."

On a Picture of a Man laughing at an Ass browsing:

  "A wise man laughed to see an ass
   Eat thistles and neglect good grass.
   But had the sage beheld the folly
   Of late transacted in Change Alley,
   He might have seen worse asses there
   Give solid gold for empty air,
   And sell estates in hopes to double
   Their fortunes by some worthless bubble,
   Till of a sudden all was lost
   That had so many millions cost.
   Yet ruined fools are highly pleased
   To see the knaves that bit 'em squeezed,
   Forgetting where the money flies
   That cost so many tears and sighs."

On the Silk Stocking Company:

  "Deal not in stocking shares, because, I doubt,
   Those that buy most will ere long go without."



These Dutch-English pictures William Hogarth, we may be sure, often
inspected as they successively courted public notice in the shops of
London, as we see in his early works a character evidently derived from
them. During the bubble period of 1720, he was an ambitious young
engraver and sign-painter (at least willing to paint signs if a job
offered),[19] much given to penciling likenesses and strange attitudes
upon his thumb-nail, to be transferred, on reaching home, to paper, and
stored away for future use. He was one of those quick draughtsmen who
will sketch you upon the spot a rough caricature of any odd person,
group, or event that may have excited the mirth of the company; a young
fellow somewhat undersized, with an alert, vigorous frame, a bright,
speaking eye, a too quick tongue and temper, self-confident, but honest,
sturdy, and downright in all his words and ways. "But I was a good
paymaster even _then_" he once said, with just pride, after speaking of
the days when he sometimes walked London streets without a shilling in
his pocket.

[Footnote 19: "Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum,"
Division I., vol. ii., p. 566.]

_Hogherd_ was the original name of the family, which was first humanized
into Hogert and Hogart, and then softened into its present form. In
Westmoreland, where Hogarth's grandfather cultivated a farm--small, but
his own--the first syllable of the name was pronounced like that of the
domestic animals which his remote ancestors may have herded. There was a
vein of talent in the family, an uncle of Hogarth's having been the
song-writer and satirist of his village, and his own father emerging
from remote and most rustic Westmoreland to settle in London as a poor
school-master and laborious, ill-requited compiler of school-books and
proof-reader. A Latin dictionary of his making existed in manuscript
after the death of the artist, and a Latin letter written by him is one
of the curiosities in the British Museum. But he remained always a poor
man, and could apprentice his boy only to an engraver of the lowest
grade known to the art. But this sufficed for a lad who could scarcely
touch paper with a pencil without betraying his gift, who drew capital
burlesques upon his nail when he was fifteen, and entertained Addison's
coffee-house with a caricature of its landlord when he was twenty-two.

[Illustration: The Sleeping Congregation. (Hogarth.)]

The earliest work by this greatest English artist of his century, which
has been preserved in the British Museum (1720), shows the bent of his
genius as plainly as the first sketch by Boz betrays the quality of
Dickens. It is called "Design for a Shop-bill," and was probably
Hogarth's own shop-bill, his advertisement to the public that he was
able and willing to paint signs. In those days, the school-master not
having yet gone "abroad," signs were usually pictorial, and sometimes
consisted of the popular representation of the saint having special
charge of the business to be recommended. In Hogarth's shop-bill we see
a tall man holding up a newly painted sign of St. Luke with his ox and
book, at which a group of persons are looking, while Hogarth himself
appears to be showing the sign to them as possible customers. Along the
bottom of the sign is engraved W. HOGARTH, PAINTER. In the background is
seen an artist painting at an easel and a boy grinding colors. He could
not even in this first homely essay avoid giving his work something of
a narrative character. He must exhibit a story with humorous details. So
in his caricature of Daniel Button, drawn to ridicule the Tory
frequenters of Button's coffee-house, he relates an incident as well as
burlesques individuals. There stands Master Button in his professional
apron, with powdered wig and frilled shirt; and opposite to him a tall,
seedy, stooping scholar or poet is storming at the landlord with
clinched fists, because he will not let him have a cup of coffee without
the money. There is also the truly Hogarthian incident of a dog smelling
suspiciously the poet's coat tail. Standing about the room are persons
whom tradition reports to have been intended as portraits of Pope,
Steele, Addison, Arbuthnot, and others of Button's famous customers.
This drawing, executed with a brush, is also preserved in the British
Museum. Daniel Button, as Dr. Johnson reports, had once been a servant
in the family of the Countess of Warwick, and was placed in the
coffee-house by Addison. A writer in the _Spectator_ alludes to this
haunt of the Tories: "I was a Tory at Button's and a Whig at Child's."

The South Sea delusion drew from Hogarth his first engraved caricature.
Among the Dutch engravings of 1720, called forth by the schemes of John
Law, there was one in which the victims were represented in a
merry-go-round, riding in revolving cars or upon wooden horses, the
whole kept in motion by a horse ridden by the devil. The picture
presents also the usual multitude of confusing details, such as the
Dutch mad-house in the distance, with a long train of vehicles going
toward it. In availing himself of this device the young Londoner showed
much of that skill in the arrangement of groups, and that fertility in
the invention of details, which marked his later works. His whirligig
revolves higher in the air than in the Dutch picture, enabling him to
show his figures clear of the crowd below, and instead of the devil on
horseback giving the motion, he assigns that work more justly to the
directors of the South Sea Company. Thus he has room and opportunity to
impart a distinct character to most of his figures. We see perched aloft
on the wooden horses about to be whirled around, a nobleman with his
broad ribbon, a shoe-black, an old woman, a wigged clergyman, and a
woman of the town. With his usual uncompromising humor, Hogarth places
these last two characters next to one another, and while the clergyman
ogles the woman, she chucks him under the chin. There is a world of
accessories: a devil exhaling fire, standing behind a counter and
cutting pieces of flesh from the body of Fortune and casting them to a
hustling crowd of Catholic, Puritan, and Jew; Self-Interest breaking
Honesty upon a wheel; a crowd of women rushing pell-mell into an edifice
gabled with horns, and bearing the words, "Raffling for Husbands with
Lottery Fortunes in here;" Honor in the pillory flogged by Villainy; an
ape wearing a sword and cap. The scene chosen by the artist for these
remarkable events is the open space in which the monument stands, then
fresh and new, which commemorates the Great Fire; but he slyly changes
the inscription thus: "This Monument was erected in Memory of the
Destruction of this City by the South Sea in 1720."

Hogarth, engraver and sign-painter though he may have been, was all
himself in this amusing and effective piece. If the Dutch picture and
Hogarth's could be placed here side by side, the reader would have
before him an interesting example of the honest plagiarism of genius,
which does not borrow gold and merely alter the stamp, but converts a
piece of crude ore into a Toledo blade. Unfortunately, both pictures are
too large and crowded to admit of effective reduction.

In this, his first published work, the audacious artist availed himself
of an expedient which heightened the effect of most of his later
pictures. He introduced portraits of living persons. Conspicuous in the
foreground of the South Sea caricature, among other personages now
unknown, is the diminutive figure of Alexander Pope, who was one of the
few lucky speculators of the year 1720. At least, he withdrew in time to
save half the sum which he once thought he had made. The gloating rake
in the first picture of the "Harlot's Progress" is that typical
reprobate of eighteenth-century romances, Colonel Francis Charteris,
upon whom Arbuthnot wrote the celebrated epitaph, which, it is to be
hoped, is itself a caricature:

              "Here continueth to rot
          the body of FRANCIS CHARTERIS,
      who, with an INFLEXIBLE CONSTANCY and
          INIMITABLE UNIFORMITY of life,
          in spite of AGE and INFIRMITIES,
        in the practice of EVERY HUMAN VICE,
        excepting PRODIGALITY and HYPOCRISY.
  His insatiable AVARICE exempted him from the first;
        his matchless IMPUDENCE from the second.

              Oh, indignant reader!
      think not his life useless to mankind;
    Providence connived at his execrable designs
        to give to after-ages a conspicuous
                  proof and example
    of how small estimation is EXORBITANT WEALTH
      in the sight of GOD, by His bestowing it on
        the most UNWORTHY OF ALL MORTALS."

Hogarth was as much a humorist in his life as he was in his works. The
invitation to Mr. King to _eta beta py_, given on the next page, was one
of many similar sportive efforts of his pencil. He once boasted that he
could draw a sergeant carrying his pike, entering an ale-house, followed
by his dog, all in three strokes. He produced the following, also given
on next page:

He explained the drawing thus: A is the perspective line of the door; B,
the end of the sergeant's pike, who has gone in; C, the end of the dog's

[Illustration: Hogarth's Invitation Card.]

[Illustration: Diagram.]

Nor was he too nice in his choice of subjects for way-side treatment.
One of his fellow-apprentices used to relate an anecdote of the time
when they were accustomed to make the usual Sunday excursion into the
country, Hogarth being fifteen years of age. In a tap-room row a man
received a severe cut upon the forehead with a quart beer-pot, which
brought blood, and caused him to "distort his features into a most
hideous grin." Hogarth produced his pencil and instantly drew a
caricature of the scene, including a most ludicrous and striking
likeness of the wounded man. There was of necessity a good deal of
_tap-room_ in all humorous art and literature of that century, and he
was perfectly at home in scenes of a beery cast.

The "Five Days' Peregrination" of Hogarth and his friends, of which
Thackeray discoursed to us so agreeably in one of his lectures, occurred
when the artist was thirty-four years of age. But it shows us the same
jovial Londoner, whose manners and pleasures, as Mr. Thackeray remarked,
though honest and innocent, were "not very refined." Five friends set
out on foot early in the morning from their tavern haunt in Covent
Garden, gayly singing the old song, "Why should we quarrel for riches?"
Billingsgate was their first halting-place, where, as the appointed
historian of the jaunt records, "Hogarth made the caricature of a
porter, who called himself the Duke of Puddle Dock," which "drawing was
by his grace pasted on the cellar door." At Rochester, "Hogarth and
Scott stopped and played at hop-scotch in the colonnade under the
Town-hall." The Nag's Head at the village of Stock sheltered them one
night, when, after supper, "we adjourned to the door, drank punch, stood
and sat for our pictures drawn by Hogarth." In another village the merry
blades "got a wooden chair, and placed Hogarth in it in the street,
where he made the drawing, and gathered a great many men, women, and
children about him to see his performance." The same evening, over their
flip, they were entertaining the tap-room with their best songs, when
some Harwich lobster-men came in and sung several sea-songs so agreeably
that the Londoners were "quite put out of countenance." "Our _St.
John_," records the scribe of the adventure, "would not come in
competition, nor could _Pishoken_ save us from disgrace." Here, too, is
a Hogarthian incident: "Hogarth called me up and told me the good-woman
insisted on being paid for her bed, or having Scott before the mayor,
_which last we did all in our power to promote_." And so they merrily
tramped the country round, singing, drawing, copying comic epitaphs, and
pelting one another with dirt, returning to London at the end of the
five days, having expended just six guineas--five shillings a day each

[Illustration: Time Smoking a Picture.]

His sense of humor appears in his serious writings. One illustration
which he gives in his "Analysis of Beauty," to show the essential and
exhaustless charm of the waving line, is in the highest degree comic: "I
once heard an eminent dancing-master say that the minuet had been the
study of his whole life, and that he had been indefatigable in the
pursuit of its beauties, yet at last could only say, with Socrates, _he
knew nothing_, adding that I was happy in my profession as a painter, in
that some bounds might be set to the study of it."

In his long warfare with the picture-dealers, who starved living art in
England by the manufacture of "old masters," he employed ridicule and
caricature with powerful effect. His masterly caricature of "Time
smoking a Picture" was well seconded by humorous letters to the press,
and by many a passing hit in his more elaborate writings. He maintained
that a painting is never so good as at the moment it leaves the artist's
hands, time having no possible effect upon it except to impair its
beauty and diminish its truth. There was penned at this period a
burlesque "Bill of Monsieur Varnish to Benjamin Bister," which is
certainly Hogarthian, if it is not Hogarth's, and might well serve as a
companion piece to the engraving. Among the items are these:

                                                                 _£  s. d._
  To painting and canvas for a naked Mary Magdalen, in the
     undoubted style of Paul Veronese                             2  2  0

  To brimstone, for smoking ditto                                 0  2  0

  Paid Mrs. W---- for a live model to sit for Diana bathing,
     by Tintoretto                                                0 16  0

  Paid for the hire of a layman, to copy the robes of a
     Cardinal, for a Vandyck                                      0  5  0

  Paid the female figure for sitting thirty minutes in a wet
     sheet, that I might give the dry manner of that master       0 10  6

  The Tribute-money Rendered, with all the exactness of Quintin
     Metsius, the famed blacksmith of Antwerp                     2 12  6

  The Martyrdom of St. Winifred, with a view of Holywell Bath,
     by old Frank                                                 1 11  6

  To a large allegorical altarpiece, consisting of men and
     angels, horses and river gods; 'tis thought most happily
     hit off for a Rubens                                         5  5  0

  Paid for admission into the House of Peers, to take a sketch
     of a great character, for a picture of Moses breaking the
     Tables of the Law, in the darkest manner of Rembrandt, not
     yet finished                                                 0  2  6

The idea of a wet sheet imparting the effect of dryness was taken from a
treatise on painting, which stated that "some of the ancient masters
acquired a dry manner of painting from studying after wet drapery."

This robust and downright Briton, strong in the consciousness of
original and native genius, did not object merely to the manufacture of
old masters, but also to the excessive value placed upon the genuine
productions of the great men of old. He could not feel it to be just or
favorable to the progress of art that works representing a state of
feeling long ago outgrown in England should take precedence of paintings
instinct with the life of the present hour. In other words, he did not
enjoy seeing one of his own paintings sell at auction for fourteen
guineas, and an Old Master bring a thousand. He grew warm when he
denounced "the picture-jobbers from abroad," who imported continually
"ship-loads of dead Christs, Holy Families, Madonnas, and other dismal,
dark subjects, neither entertaining nor ornamental, on which they scrawl
the terrible cramp names of some Italian masters, and fix upon us
Englishmen the name of universal dupes." He imagines a scene between one
of those old-master mongers and his customer. The victim says:

"'Mr. Bubbleman, that grand Venus, as you are pleased to call it, has
not beauty enough for the character of an English cook-maid.' Upon which
the quack answers, with a confident air: 'Sir, I find that you are no
_connoisseur_; the picture, I assure you, is in Alesso Baldminetto's
second and best manner, boldly painted, and truly sublime: the contour
gracious; the air of the head in high Greek taste; and a most divine
idea it is.' Then spitting in an obscure place, and rubbing it with a
dirty handkerchief, takes a skip to t'other end of the room, and screams
out in raptures, 'There's an amazing touch! A man should have this
picture a twelvemonth in his collection before he can discover half its
beauties!' The gentleman (though naturally a judge of what is beautiful,
yet ashamed to be out of the fashion by judging for himself) with this
cant is struck dumb, gives a vast sum for the picture, very modestly
confesses he is indeed quite ignorant of painting, and bestows a frame
worth fifty pounds on a frightful thing, which, without the hard name,
is not worth so many farthings."


    The no Dedication

  Not Dedicated to any Prince in Christendom
  for fear it might be thought an
  Idle piece of Arrogance.

  Nor Dedicated to any man of quality
  for fear it might be thought too assuming.

  Nor Dedicated to any learned body
  of Men, as either of the universities or the
  Royal Society, for fear it might be thought
  an uncommon piece of Vanity.

  Nor Dedicated to any one particular Friend
  for fear of offending another.

  Therefore Dedicated to nobody.
  But if for once we may suppose
  Nobody to be every body, as Every body
  is often said to be nobody, then is this work
  Dedicated to every body.

              by their most humble
                                 and devoted W. Hogarth

Dedication of a Proposed History of the Arts. (From Hogarth's

[Footnote 20: "Hogarth's Works," frontispiece to vol. iii., by Ireland
and Nichols.]

He gives picture-buyers a piece of advice which many of them have since
taken, to the sore distress of their guests: Use your own eyes, and buy
the pictures which _they_ dwell upon with delight.

In the heat of controversy, Hogarth, as usual, went too far; but he
stood manfully by his order, and defended resolutely their rights and
his own. Artists owe him undying gratitude for two great services: he
showed them a way to independence by setting up in business on his own
account, becoming his own engraver and publisher, and retaining always
the ownership of his own plates, which, indeed, constituted his estate,
and supported creditably his family as long as any of them lived. He
served all artists, too, by defending himself against the pirates who
flooded the market with meanly executed copies of his own engravings. It
was William Hogarth who obtained from Parliament the first act which
secured to artists the sole right to multiply and sell copies of their
works; and this right is the very corner-stone of a great national
painter's independence. That act made genuine art a possible profession
in England.

Such was Hogarth, the original artist of his country, an honest, valiant
citizen, who stood his ground, paid his way, cheered and admonished his
generation. He had the faults which belong to a positive character, trod
on many toes, was often misunderstood, and had his ample share of
trouble and contention. All that is now forgotten; and he was never so
much valued, so frequently reproduced, so generally possessed, or so
carefully studied as at the present time.

The generation that forms great satirists shines in the history of
literature, but not in that of morals; for to supply with objects of
satire such masters of the satiric arts as Hogarth, Swift, Pope, Gay,
Steele, Arbuthnot, and Foote, there must be deep corruption in the State
and radical folly in conspicuous persons. The process which has since
been named "secularization" had then fairly set in. The brilliant men of
the time had learned to deride the faith which had been a restraining
force upon the propensities of man for fifteen centuries, but were very
far from having learned to be continent, temperate, and just without its
aid. "Four treatises against the miracles" Voltaire boasted of having
seen during his residence in England in 1727 and 1728; but these
treatises did not moderate the warmth of human passions, nor change any
other element in the difficult problem of existence. Walpole bribed,
Swift maligned, Bolingbroke intrigued, Charteris seduced, and
Marlborough peculated just as if the New Light had not dawned and the
miracles had remained intact. Do we not, even in our own time, see
inquiring youth, bred in strait-laced homes, assuming that since there
are now two opinions as to the origin of things, it is no longer
necessary to comply with the moral laws? The splendid personages of that
period seem to have been in a moral condition similar to that of such a
youth. It was the fashion to be dissolute; it was "provincial" to obey
those laws of our being from compliance with which all human welfare and
all honest joy have come.

[Illustration: Sir Robert Walpole paring the Nails of the British Lion.]

Politics were still most rudimentary. The English people were fully
resolved on keeping out the dull and deadly Stuarts; but the price they
had to pay for this was to submit to the rule of the dull and difficult
Georges, whose bodies were in England and their hearts in Hanover.
Between the king and the people stood Sir Robert Walpole--as good a man
as could have held the place--who went directly to the point with
members and writers, ascertained their price, and paid it. According to
one of Pope's bitter notes on the "Dunciad," where he quotes a
Parliamentary report, this minister in ten years paid to writers and
publishers of newspapers "fifty thousand pounds eighteen shillings!" How
much he paid to members of Parliament was a secret known only to himself
and the king. The venality of the press was frequently burlesqued, as
well as the fulsome pomp of its purchased eulogies. A very good specimen
is that which appeared in 1735, during a ministerial crisis, when the
opposition had high hopes of ousting the tenacious Walpoles. An
"Advertisement" was published, in which was offered for sale a "neat and
curious collection of well-chosen similes, allusions, metaphors, and
allegories from the best plays and romances, modern and ancient, proper
to adorn a panegyric on the glorious patriots designed to succeed the
present ministry." The author gave notice that "all sublunary metaphors
of a new minister, being a Rock, a Pillar, a Bulwark, a Strong Tower, or
a Spire Steeple, will be allowed very cheap;" but celestial ones, being
brought from the other world at a great expense, must be held at a
higher rate. The author announced that he had prepared a collection of
State satires, which would serve, with little variation, to libel a
judge, a bishop, or a prime minister. "N.B.--The same satirist has
collections of reasons ready by him against the ensuing peace, though he
has not yet read the preliminaries or seen one article of the

[Illustration: Dutch Neutrality, 1745.]

There was also a burlesque "Bill of Costs for a late Tory Election in
the West," in which we find such items as "bespeaking and collecting a
mob," "a set of No-Roundhead roarers," "a set of coffee-house praters,"
"Dissenter damners," "demolishing two houses," "committing two riots,"
"breaking windows," "roarers of the word CHURCH," "several gallons of
Tory punch on church tombstones." It is questionable, however, if in all
the burlesques of the period there was one more ridiculous than the
narrative of an actual occurrence in April, 1715, when the footmen of
members of the House of Commons met outside of the House, according to
established custom, to elect a Speaker. The Tory footmen cast their
votes for "Sir Thomas Morgan's servant," and the Whigs for "Mr.
Strickland's man." A dispute arising, a fight ensued between the two
parties, in the midst of which the House broke up, and the footmen were
obliged to attend their masters. The next day, as soon as the House was
in session, the fight was renewed, and, after a desperate struggle, the
victorious Whigs carried their man three times in triumph round
Westminster Hall, and then adjourned to a Whig ale-house, the landlord
of which gave them a dinner, the footmen paying only for their drink.

[Illustration: British Idolatry of the Opera-Singer Mingotti, 1756.

  "Ra, ra, ra, rot ye,
   My name is Mingotti.
   If you worship me notti,
   You shall all go to potti."]

The caricatures of the Walpole period preserve the record of the first
attempt to lessen by law the intemperate drinking of gin--the most
pernicious of the spirituous liquors. A law was passed imposing upon
this article a very heavy excise, and prohibiting its sale in small
quantities. But in 1736 England had not reached, by a century and a
half, the development of civilization which admits of the adequate
consideration of such a measure; nor can the poor man's gin _ever_ be
limited by law while the rich man's wine flows free. This gin law
appears to have been killed by ridicule. Ballads lamenting the near
decease of "Mother Gin" were sung in the streets; the gin-shop signs
were hung with black, and there were mock ceremonies of "Madame Geneva's
Lying in State," "Mother Gin's Wake," and "Madame Gin's Funeral."
Paragraphs notified the public that the funeral of Madame Gin was
celebrated with great merriment, many of both sexes "getting soundly
drunk," and a mob following her remains with torches. The night before
the measure went into operation was one of universal revel among the
gin-drinkers, and every one, we are assured, carried off as much of the
popular liquor, for future consumption, as he could pay for. The law was
evaded by the expedients long afterward employed in Maine, when first a
serious attempt was made to enforce the "Maine Law." Apothecaries and
others colored their gin, put it into phials, and labeled it "Colic
Water," "Make-shift," "The Ladies' Delight," with printed "Directions"
to take two or three spoonfuls three or four times a day, "or as often
as the fit takes you." Informers sprung into an importance never before
known, and many of them invented snares to decoy men into violations of
the law. So odious did they become that if one of them fell into the
hands of the mob, he was lucky to escape with only a ducking in the
Thames or a horse-trough. In short, the attempt was ill-considered and
premature, and after an experiment of two or three years it was given
up, having contributed something toward the growing unpopularity of the

[Illustration: The Motion (for the Removal of Sir Robert Walpole).]

The downfall of Sir Robert Walpole, after holding office for twenty
years, was preceded by an animated fire of caricature, in which the
adherents of Walpole held their own. The specimen given above, entitled
"The Motion," was reduced from one of the most famous caricatures of the
reign of George II., and one of the most finely wrought of the
century.[21] Horace Walpole, son of the great minister, wrote from
Florence that the picture had "diverted him extremely," and that the
likenesses were "admirable." To us the picture says nothing until it is
explained; but every London apprentice of the period recognized
Whitehall and the Treasury, toward which the Opposition was driving with
such furious haste, and could distinguish most of the personages
exhibited. A few days before this caricature appeared, Sandys, who was
styled the motion-maker, from the frequency of his attempts to array the
House of Commons against the Walpole ministry, moved once more an
address to the king, that he would be pleased to remove Sir Robert
Walpole from his presence and councils forever. The debate upon this
motion was long and most vehement, and though the ministry triumphed, it
was one of those bloody victories which presage overthrow. On the same
day a similar "motion" was made in the House of Lords by Lord Carteret,
where an equally violent discussion was followed by a vote sustaining
the ministry. The exultation of the Walpole party inspired this famous
caricature, in which we see the Opposition peers trying to reach office
in a lordly coach and six, and the Commons trudging toward the same goal
on foot, their leader, Pulteney, wheeling a load of Opposition
newspapers, and leading his followers by the nose. Every politician of
note on the side of the Opposition is in the picture: Lord Chesterfield
is the postilion; the Duke of Argyll the coachman; Lord Carteret the
gentleman inside the coach, who, becoming conscious of the breakdown,
cries, "Let me get out!" Bubb Dodington is the spaniel between the
coachman's legs; the footman behind the coach is Lord Cobham, and the
outrider Lord Lyttelton. On the side of the Commons there is Sandys,
dropping in despair his favorite, often-defeated "Place Bill," and
exclaiming, "I thought what would come of putting _him_ on the box?"
Much of the humor and point of the picture is lost to us, because the
peculiar relations of the persons portrayed to the public, to their
party, and to one another can not now be perfectly recalled.

[Footnote 21: Thomas Wright, "Caricature History of the Georges," p.

Edition after edition of "The Motion" appeared, one of which was so
arranged that it could be fitted to the frame of a lady's fan, a common
device at the time. The Opposition retorted with a parody of the
picture, which they styled "The Reason," in which Walpole figures as the
coachman, driving the coach of state to destruction. Another parody was
called "The Motive," in which the king was the passenger and Walpole the
driver. Then followed "A Consequence of the Motion," "Motion upon
Motion," "The Grounds," and others. The Walpole party surpassed their
opponents in caricature; but caricature is powerless to turn back a
genuine tide of public feeling, and a year later Sir Robert was
honorably shelved in the House of Lords.

From this time forward the history of Europe is recorded or burlesqued
in the comic pictures of the shop-window; not merely the conspicuous
part played in it by ministers and kings, but the foibles, the fashions,
the passions, the vices, the credulities, the whims, of each generation.
The British rage for the Italian opera, the enormous sums paid to the
singers, the bearish manners of Handel, the mania for gaming, the
audacity of highwaymen, and the impositions upon popular credulity no
more escape the satirist's pencil than Braddock's defeat, the Queen of
Hungary's loss of Silesia, or William Pitt's timely, and also his
ill-timed, fits of the gout. Nor were the abuses of the Church
overlooked. One picture, entitled "The Fat Pluralist and his Lean
Curates," published in 1733, exhibited a corpulent dignitary of the
Church in a chariot drawn by six meagre and wretched curates. The portly
priest carries under one arm a large church, and a cathedral under the
other, while at his feet are two sucking pigs, a hen, and a goose, which
he has taken as tithe from a farmyard in the distance. "The Church,"
says the pluralist, "was made for me, not I for the Church;" and under
the wheels of the coach is a book marked "The Thirty-nine Articles." One
starving curate cries, piteously, "Lord, be merciful to us poor
curates!" to which another responds, "And send us more comfortable
livings!" It required a century of satire and remonstrance to get that
one monstrous abuse of the Church Ring reduced to proportions
approaching decency. Corruption in the city of New York in the darkest
days of Tweed was less universal, less systematic, less remote from
remedy, than that of the Government of Great Britain under the least
incapable of its four Georges. It was merely more decorous.

[Illustration: Antiquaries Puzzled. (London, 1756.)]

A specimen of the harmless, good-humored satire aimed at the zealous
antiquaries of the last century is given above. This picture may have
suggested to Mr. Dickens the familiar scene in "Pickwick" where the
roving members of the Pickwick Club discover the stone commemorative of
Bill Stumps. The mysterious inscription in the picture is, "Beneath this
stone reposeth Claud Coster, tripe-seller of Impington, as doth his
consort Jane."



It is part of the office of caricature to assist in destroying illusions
that have served their turn and become obstructive. As in Luther's time
it gave important aid to the reformers in breaking the spell of the
papacy, so now, when kingship broke down in Europe, the satiric pencil
had much to do with tearing away the veil of fiction which had so long
concealed the impotence of kings for nearly every thing but mischief.

[Illustration: A Caricature designed by Benjamin Franklin. (London,

Explanation by Dr. Franklin: "The Colonies (that is, Britannia's limbs)
being severed from her, Britannia is seen lifting her eyes and mangled
stumps to heaven; her shield, which she is unable to wield, lies useless
by her side; her lance has pierced New England; the laurel branch has
fallen from the hand of Pennsylvania; the English oak has lost its head,
and stands a bare trunk, with a few withered branches: briers and thorns
are on the ground beneath it; the British ships have brooms at their
topmast heads, denoting their being on sale; and Britannia herself is
seen sliding off the world (no longer able to hold its balance), her
fragments overspread with the label, Date obolum Bellisario" (Give a
farthing to Belisarius).]

The fatal objection to the hereditary principle in the government of
nations is the importance which, to use Mr. Jefferson's words, it "heaps
upon idiots." Idiot is a harsh word to apply to a person so well
disposed as George III., King of England, to whom the violence of the
Revolutionary period was chiefly due; but when we think of the evil and
suffering from which Europe could have been saved if he had known a
little more or been a little less, we can not be surprised that
contemporaries should have summed him up with disrespectful brevity. But
for him, so far as short-sighted mortals can discern, the period of
bloody revolution could have been a period of peaceful reform. After
exasperating his subjects nearly to the point of rebellion, he
precipitated the independence of the American colonies, which, in turn,
brought on the French Revolution, and that issued in Napoleon Bonaparte,
whose sins France only finished expiating at Sedan.

It is true, there must have been in Great Britain myriads upon myriads
of such heads as that of King George to make his policy possible. But
suppose that, instead of placing himself at the head of the dull minds
in his empire, he had given the prestige of the crown to the bright and
independent souls! Suppose he had taken as kindly to Chatham, Burke,
Fox, Franklin, Price, Priestley, and Barré as he did to Bute, Dr.
Johnson, Addington, and Eldon!

And see how this heir to the first throne in Christendom was educated.
That period has been so laid bare by diaries and correspondence that we
can visit the orphan boy in his home at Carlton House, and listen to his
mother, the widowed Princess of Wales, as she describes his traits and
laments the defects of his training. Go back to the year 1752, and
imagine a drawing-room in a royal residence. The dinner hour then had
only got as far toward "to-morrow" as three in the afternoon, and
therefore by early candle-light of an October evening the drawing-room
may be supposed to be inhabited. The Princess of Wales, born a princess
of a petty German sovereignty, still a young mother, is dressed in
mourning, her husband being but a few months dead. Of the duties
belonging to royalty she had no ideas except those which had prevailed
from time immemorial at the court of absolute German sovereigns. Her
chief care was to preserve the morals of her children, and to have her
eldest son a king in reality as well as in name. "Be king" (_Sois roi_)
were favorite words with her, often repeated in the hearing of the heir
to the throne. She thought it infamy in a king to allow himself to be
ruled by ministers. There is no reason to doubt that she was an
honorable lady and affectionate mother. Horace Walpole's insinuation
that she instilled virtuous principles into the mind of her son because
she "feared a mistress," and that her intimacy with Lord Bute was a
criminal intrigue, dishonors Horace Walpole and human nature, but not
the mother of George III.

She has company this evening--Bubb Dodington, a gentleman of great
wealth and agreeable manners, who controlled six votes in the House of
Commons, and passed his life in scheming to buy a peerage with them, in
which, a year before his death, he succeeded, but left no heir to
inherit it. He was much in the confidence of the princess, and she had
sent for him to "spend the day" with her. Dinner is over, the two
ladies-in-waiting are present, and now the "children" enter to play a
few games of cards with their mother before going to bed. The children
are seven in number, of whom the eldest was George, Prince of Wales--a
boy of fourteen, of fresh complexion, sturdy and stout in form, and a
countenance open and agreeable, and wearing an expression of honesty.
Human nature rarely assumes a more pleasing form than that of a healthy,
innocent English boy of fourteen. He was such a boy as you may still see
in the play-grounds of Eton, only he was heavier, slower, and ruddier
than the average, and much more shy in company. He loved his horse, and
was exceedingly fond of rural sports; but when lesson-time came--but let
his mother speak on that point.

The old game of "comet" was the one which the lad usually preferred. The
company play at comet for small stakes, until the clock strikes nine,
when "the royal children" go to bed. Then the mother leaves her ladies,
and withdraws with her guest to the other end of the room, where she
indulges in a long, gossipy, confidential chat upon the subject nearest
her heart--her son, the presumptive heir to the throne. To show the
reader how she used to talk to confidants on such occasions, I will
glean a few sentences from her conversations:

"I like that the prince should amuse himself now and then at _small_
play; but princes should never play deep, both for the example, and
because it does not become them to win great sums. George's real
disposition, do you ask? You know him almost as well as I do. He is very
honest, but I wish he was a little more forward and less childish at his
age. I hope his preceptors will improve him. I really do not know what
they are teaching him, but, to speak freely, I am afraid not much. They
are in the country, and follow their diversions, and not much else that
I can discover."

Dodington remarked upon this that, for his part, he did not much regard
books; what _he_ most wished was that the prince should begin to acquire
knowledge of the world, and be informed of the general frame and nature
of the British Government and Constitution, and, without going into
minutiæ, get some insight into the manner of doing public business.

"I am of your opinion," said the princess; "and his tutor, Stone, tells
me that when he talks with him on those subjects, he seems to give
proper attention, and makes pertinent remarks. I stick to the learning
as the chief point. You know how backward the children were, and I am
sure you do not think them much improved since. It may be that it is not
too late to acquire a competence. I am highly sensible how necessary it
is that the prince should keep company with men. I know that women can
not inform him; but if his education was in my power absolutely, to whom
could I address him? What company can I wish him to keep? What
friendships can I desire him to contract? Such is the universal
profligacy, such is the character and conduct of the young people of
distinction, that I am really afraid to have them near my children. I
shall even be in more pain for my daughters than I am for my sons, for
the behavior of the women is indecent, low, and much against their own
interest by making themselves so very cheap."

Three years passed. The prince was seventeen. Still the anxious mother
deplored the neglect of his education.

"His book-learning," said she to the same friend, "I am no judge of,
though I suppose it is small or useless; but I did hope he might have
been instructed in the general understanding of things. I once desired
Mr. Stone to inform the prince about the Constitution; but he declined
it to avoid giving jealousy to the Bishop of Norwich (official
educator). I mentioned it again, but he still declined it as not being
his province."

"Pray, madam," asked Dodington, "what _is_ his province?"

"I don't know, unless it is to go before the prince up-stairs, to walk
with him sometimes, seldomer to ride with him, and now and then to dine
with him. But when they do walk together, the prince generally takes
that time to think of his own affairs and say nothing."

The youth was, indeed, extremely indolent and stupid. At school he would
have been simply called a dunce, for at eleven he could not read English
with any fluency, and he could never have been induced to apply his mind
to study except by violence. He never had the slightest notion of what
Chatham, Burke, or Fox meant when they spoke of the Constitution. If Mr.
Stone had not been in dread of invading the Bishop of Norwich's
province, and if the bishop had not been a verbose and wearisome
formalist, their united powers could not have shown this young man the
unique and prodigious happiness of a constitutional king in governing
through responsible ministers. His "governor" during the last few years
of his minority was Lord Waldegrave, whose too brief memoirs confirm the
excellent report which contemporaries give of his mind and character.
Lord Waldegrave could make nothing of him. Speaking of the prince at
nineteen, he says he was "uncommonly full of princely prejudices,
contracted in the nursery and improved by the society of bedchamber
women and pages of the back-stairs." He found the heavy youth an
insufferable bore, and he was soon, as his relation, Horace Walpole,
relates, "thoroughly fatigued with the insipidity of his pupil." The
prince derived from his education only two ideas, one very good and the
other very bad. The first was that he must be a Good Boy and not keep a
mistress; the second was that he must be a king indeed.

An indolent and ignorant monarch who will not govern by ministers must
govern by favorites. He has no other alternative but abdication. A
favorite was at hand in the person of a poor Scotch lord who had married
one of the richest heiresses in Europe, the daughter of Lady Mary
Wortley Montagu and her miserly husband. He had also, if we may believe
Lord Waldegrave, "a good person, fine legs, and a theatrical air of the
greatest importance." He was likewise fond of medals, engravings, and
flowers; he pensioned Dr. Johnson and the dramatist Home; he really
enjoyed some products of art, and was far from being either the
execrable or the ridiculous personage which he was esteemed by men whom
he kept from place. "Bute," said Prince Frederick, father of George
III., "you would make an excellent embassador in a small, proud little
court where there is nothing to do." He would have arranged the
ceremonials, superintended the plays, been gracious to artists and
musicians, smiled benignantly upon the court poet, bored the reigning
prince, enchanted the reigning princess, amused her children, and
ripened into a courtly and garrulous old Polonius, "full of wise saws
and modern instances." Above all, he would have upheld the prerogative
of the prince with stanch sincerity. _Sois roi!_

There is something in the Scotch character that causes it to relish
royal prerogative. To this hour there are in Scotland families that
cherish a kind of sentimental attachment to the memory of the Stuarts;
and we find Scotchmen as eminent as Hume, Carlyle, Lockhart, Scott,
Wilson--men of distinguished liberality in some provinces of
thought--unable to widen out into liberal politics. Bute was a lord as
well as a Scotchman, not as ignorant nor as vulgar as lords in that
generation usually were, but still subject to the lowering influences
that always beset a privileged order; predisposed, too, by temperament
to the worship of the picturesque, and now the cherished sharer of the
shy, proud, gloomy seclusion of the family upon which the hopes of an
empire were fixed. He showed them medals and pictures, he discoursed of
music and architecture--two of his most pronounced tastes--and he
nourished every princely prejudice which a wise tutor would have striven
to eradicate.

This unfortunate youth, dull offspring of the stimulated lust of ages,
was an apt pupil in the Jacobin theory of kingly authority. He was
caught one day reading the book written at the instance of the dethroned
James II. to justify his arbitrary policy; and there were so many other
signs of the heir to a constitutional throne being educated in
unconstitutional principles that Horace Walpole drew up a formal
remonstrance against it in the name of the Whig families. This document,
which was privately circulated, produced no effect. _Sois roi!_ That
remained the ruling thought in the mind of this ignorant, proud, moral
young man, about to fill a place which conferred more obstructive power
than any other in the world. If he had only been dissolute in that most
dissolute age, he could have been ruled through his vices; but being
strictly moral and temperate, he was, alas! always _himself_; and he had
at his back the great voiceless multitude, who know by instinct that
morality is the first interest of civilized human nature, and who honor
it supremely even in this crude, rudimentary form. "Your dad is safe on
his throne," said some boon companion of George IV., "as long as he is
faithful to that ugly old woman, your mother." And wise old Franklin
said, "If George III. had had a bad private character and John Wilkes a
good one, he might have turned the king out of his dominions." Such is
the mighty power of the mere indispensable rudiments of virtue, its mere
preliminary corporeal conditions. A chaste and temperate fool will carry
the day nine times in ten over profligate genius.

Riding in the park on an October day in 1760, a messenger delivered to
the prince a note from the _valet de chambre_ of his grandfather,
George II. The prince had coolly arranged with this valet, while yet the
king seemed firm in health, that at the moment of the old man's death he
should send him a note bearing a certain mark on the outside. The king,
a vigorous old man of seventy-seven, fell dead in his closet at seven in
the morning, and this note bore the preconcerted announcement of the
fact. The moral and steady young man, quietly remarking to his groom
that his horse was lame, turned about and gently rode back to Kew. Upon
dismounting he said to the man, "I have said this horse is lame; I
forbid you to say the contrary." At twenty-two years of age he was king.
Except that he married, a few months after, a pliant, adoring German
princess, his accession did not much change his mode of life. He still
lived in strict seclusion, shut in against expanding influences,
accessible at all times only to one man--him of the good legs and
Jacobin mind, Bute, progenitor of the Pope's recent conquest, and Mr.
Disraeli's hero, Lothair.

[Illustration: Lord Bute, 1768.]

[Illustration: Princess of Wales--Bute--George III.]

In the caricatures of the next fifty years we see the ghastly results.
His first important act was to repel from his counsels humiliating
superiority in the person of William Pitt, the darling of the nation,
the first minister of the world, and one of the three great orators of
all time. In his stead ruled a long monotony of servile incompetents,
beginning with Bute himself, continuing with Grenville, and coming at
last to Addington and Eldon, the king keeping far from his confidence
every man in England who had a gleam of public sense, or a touch of
independent spirit, or even a sound traditionary attachment to Whig
principles. An immovable obstructive to the true interest of his country
at every crisis, honoring the men whom the better sense of the nation
did not honor, and repressing the men whom wise contemporaries loved,
and whom posterity with unanimous voice pronounces the glory of England
in that age, he kept the country in bad humor during most of his reign,
put her wrong on every question of universal interest, lost the most
valuable and affectionate colonies a country ever had, kept Europe in a
broil for twenty-five years, and developed Napoleon Bonaparte into a
destructive lunatic by creating for him a succession of opportunities
for the display of his talent for beating armies which had no generals.

[Illustration: The Wire-master (Bute) and his Puppets. (London, 1767.)

"The power behind the throne greater than the throne itself."]

A large proportion of the very caricatures of the period have something
savage in them. A visitor to the library of the British Museum curious
in such matters is shown ten huge folio scrap-books full of caricatures
relating to this reign, most of them of great size and blazing with
color. From a gentleman who recently inspected these volumes we learn
some particulars showing the bad temper, bad manners, and bad morals of
that time, all three aggravated by a king whose morals were excellent.
One of the first to catch the eye of an American is a picture, of date
about 1765, called "A New Method of Macarony-making, as practiced in
_Boston_, North America," which represents two men tarring and
feathering another, who has a halter round his neck. Of the pictures
reflecting upon Lord Bute and the Princess of Wales nothing need be said
except that they are such as might be expected from the caricaturists of
that age. Many of the works of Gillray in the earlier years of George
III. were of such coarseness, extravagance, and brutality that the
exhibition of them nowadays would subject the vender to a prosecution by
the Society for the Suppression of Vice. Our informant adds: "Their
savageness and filth give one a very curious idea of the taste of our
grandfathers and our great-grandfathers, only our ancestors, male and
female, could hardly have been as bad as they are represented. Such
hideous faces, such deformed figures, such monstrous distortion and
debasement, such general ugliness and sensuality, oppress one with a
feeling of melancholy rather than exhilaration. You might as well be
merry over the doings of Swift's Yahoos, who are certainly not more
offensive than some of Gillray's men and women. Whether in home or
foreign politics, he is equally unscrupulous."

Charles James Fox was the _bête noire_ of Gillray. He delighted in
depicting him and his friends in as odious a light as possible, giving
him huge beetle-brows, heavy jaws, and a swarthy complexion. The famous
Westminster election, at which the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire won a
vote for Fox by giving a kiss to a butcher, supplied him with a rich
source of caricature. Fox is drawn riding on the back of the lady; and
again, sitting in a tap-room with the duchess on his knee; and in
another picture, hobnobbing with a coster-monger, while the duchess has
her shoes mended by a cobbler, and pays the cobbler's wife with a purse
of gold. Fox chops off the head of the king; he is a traitor, a
republican, a Jacobin, a confederate with the French, a forestaller, a
buyer-up of corn with which to feed the enemy, a sot, a gambler--every
thing that is bad. His very death-bed forms the subject of a brutal
caricature. The noblest traits of his political character are the points
satirized. His great crimes apparently are that he loved freedom abroad
as well as at home, that he strove for peace with France, and endeavored
to do justice to Ireland. For this he is depicted as the secret ally of
Bonaparte and as the instigator of Irish rebellion. The ghosts of Lord
Edward Fitzgerald, Wolfe Tone, the Sheares brothers, Emmett, and other
Irish martyrs are made to pass before Fox's bed, and point to _him_ as
the cause of their rebellion and their fate. When Burke went over to the
Tories he then became the favorite of Gillray, who before had generally
represented him as a Jesuit, because he demanded justice for the
Catholics. Now he is the savior of his country, and the terror of Fox,
Sheridan, and Priestley. Sheridan is depicted as a blazing meteor with
an extremely rubicund nose. There is a picture of the Titans attempting
to scale heaven, in which George III. figures as a comical Jupiter
launching his thunder-bolts at the Whig Opposition. Queen Charlotte is
shown as a miracle of ugliness. The prodigality of the Prince of Wales,
who first appears as a handsome young man with long powdered hair,
totally unlike the high-shouldered, curly-wigged, royal Turveydrop of
later days, is contrasted in companion pictures with the alleged
parsimony of his parents. He is represented reveling with inordinately
fat but handsome women, who get drunk, hang round his neck, and indulge
in familiarities. The popular hope that marriage would reform him
suggested a large drawing, in which the slumbering prince is visited by
a descending angel in the likeness of the unhappy Caroline, at whose
approach a crowd of reprobates, male and female, hurry away into
darkness. Thomas Paine did not escape. In a picture entitled "The Rights
of Man; or, Tommy Paine, the Little American Taylor, taking the Measure
of the Crown for a New Pair of Revolution Breeches," he is represented
as the traditional starveling tailor, ragged and slippered, and armed
with an immense pair of shears. He crouches to take the measure of an
enormous crown, while uttering much irrelevant nonsense. This precious
work is "humbly dedicated to the Jacobin clubs of France and England."

Bound with such pictures as these are a vast number by inferior hands,
most of which are indescribable, the standard subjects being gluttony,
drunkenness, incontinence, and fashion, and these in their most
outrageous manifestations. They serve to show that a stupid king in that
age, besides corrupting Parliament and debauching the Press, could
demoralize the popular branch of art. The visitor, turning from this
collection of atrocities and ferocities, finds himself relenting toward
the unfortunate old king, and inclined to say that he was, after all,
only the head noodle of his kingdom. Every improvement was mercilessly
burlesqued--steam, gas, the purchase of the Elgin marbles; popular
prejudices were nearly always flattered, seldom rebuked; so that if the
caricatures were of any use at all in the promulgation of truth, they
served only as part of the ordeal that tested its vitality.

We do not find in this or in any other collection many satirical
pictures relating to the revolution which ended in the independence of
the American colonies. There was, however, one gentleman in London
during the earlier phases of the dispute who employed caricature and
burlesque on behalf of America with matchless skill. He is described in
the London Directory for 1770 in these words, "Franklin, Benjamin, Esq.,
agent for Philadelphia, Craven Street, Strand." The effective caricature
placed at the beginning of this chapter was one of the best of a long
series of efforts to avert the impending conflict. He loved his country
with the peculiar warmth that usually animates citizens who live in a
distant outlying province. His country, when he designed that caricature
and wrote the well-known burlesques in a similar taste, was not
Pennsylvania, nor America, nor England, but the great British Empire, to
which William Pitt, within Franklin's own life-time, seemed to have
given an ascendency over the nations of the earth similar to that which
Rome had once enjoyed. It was, however, only on the coast of North
America that Britain possessed colonies loyal and free, not won by
conquest nor by diplomacy, and therefore entitled to every right secured
by the British Constitution. Franklin loved and gloried in this great
country of which he was born a citizen. He deplored the measures that
threatened the severance of those colonies from the mother country, and
would have prevented the severance if the king's folly had been any
thing short of incurable. The most wonderful thing in the whole
controversy was that the argument, fact, and fun which Franklin wrote
and inspired, from 1765 to 1774, had only momentary influence on the
course of events. "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in

[Illustration: The Gouty Colossus, William Pitt (Lord Chatham), with One
Leg in London and the Other in New York. (London, 1766.)]

His twenty "Rules for Reducing a Great Empire to a Small One," published
three years before the caricature, inculcated the same lesson. A great
empire, he remarked, was in one particular like a great cake: it could
be most easily diminished at _the edges_. The person, therefore, who had
undertaken the task of reducing it should take care to begin at the
remotest provinces, and not till after they were lopped off cut up the
central portion. His twenty "Rules" are merely a humorous history of the
British colonial policy since the accession of George III.: Don't
incorporate your colonies with the mother country, quarter troops among
them, appoint for their governors broken gamblers and exhausted _roués_,
despise their voluntary grants, and harass them with novel taxes. By
such measures as these "you will act like a wise gingerbread baker, who,
to facilitate a division, cuts his dough half through at the places
where, when baked, he would have it broken to pieces." Franklin also
wrote a shorter burlesque, pompously headed, "An Edict of the King of
Prussia," in which that monarch was supposed to claim sovereign rights
over Great Britain on the ground that the island had been colonized by
Hengist, Horsa, and others, subjects of "our renowned ducal ancestors."
The edict, of course, ordains and commands precisely those absurd things
which the Government of Great Britain _had_ ordained and commanded since
the planting of the colonies. Iron, as the edict duly sets forth, had
been discovered in the island of Great Britain by "our colonists there,"
who, "_presuming_ that they had a natural right to make the best use
they could of the natural productions of their country," had erected
furnaces and forges for the manufacture of the same, to the detriment of
the manufacturers of Prussia. This must be instantly stopped, and all
the iron sent to Prussia to be manufactured. "And whereas the art and
mystery of making _hats_ has arrived at great perfection in Prussia,"
and "the islanders before mentioned, being in possession of wool,
beaver, and other furs, have presumptuously conceived they had a right
to take some advantage thereof by manufacturing the same into hats, to
the prejudice of our domestic manufacture," therefore we do hereby
forbid them to do so any more.

We call this piece a burlesque, but it was burlesque only in form.
Precisely such restrictions existed upon the industry of the American
colonists. It was part of the protective system of the age, and not much
more unjust than the parts of the same system to which the descendants
of those colonists have since subjected themselves.

An ignorant man at the head of a government, however honest he may be,
is liable to make fatal mistakes in the selection of his ministers. He
naturally dreads the close inspection of minds superior to his own. He
has always to be on his good behavior before them, which is irksome. He
shares the stock prejudices of mankind, one of which is a distrust of
practiced politicians. But as the poorest company of actors will get
through a comedy with less discredit than the best amateurs, so an
administration of "party hacks" will usually carry on a government with
less odious failure than an administration composed of better men
without experience in public business. George III. had, moreover, a
singularly unfortunate trait for a king who had to govern by party
leaders--his prejudices against individuals were inveterate. Lord
Waldegrave remarked "a kind of unhappiness in his temper" while he was
still a youth. "Whenever he is displeased, his anger does not break out
with heat and violence, but he becomes sullen and silent, and retires to
his closet, not to compose his mind by study and contemplation, but
merely to indulge the melancholy enjoyment of his own ill-humor." And
when he re-appeared, it was but too evident that he had not forgotten
the offense. He never forgot, he seldom forgave. "The same strength of
memory," as Earl Russell once wrote of him, "and the same _brooding
sullenness_ against those who opposed his will, which had been observed
in the boy, were manifest in the man."

[Illustration: The Mask (Coalition).]

This peculiarity of character always prevented the formation of a proper
ministry, and shortened the duration of every ministry which was
approximately proper. During the first ten years of his reign his
dislike of William Pitt, the natural chief of the Whig party, confused
every arrangement; and during the next twenty years the most cherished
object of his policy seemed to be to keep from power the natural
successor of that minister--Charles James Fox. The ascendency of both
those leaders was such that to exclude them from power was to paralyze
their own party, and prevent the free play of politics in the House of
Commons. It reduced the poor king at last to pit against Napoleon
Bonaparte a young rhetorician of defective health, William Pitt, the son
of the great minister.

[Illustration: Heads of Fox and North.

"In a committee on the sense of the nation, Moved, that for preventing
future disorders and dissensions, the _heads_ of the Mutiny Act be
brought in, and suffered to lie on the table to-morrow."--_Fox's Motion
in Parliament, February, 1784._]

That renowned "coalition" between Lord North and Mr. Fox in 1783, the
theme of countless caricatures and endless invective, illustrates the
confusing influence of the king. During the whole period of the American
Revolution, Lord North, as the head of the ministry, was obliged to
execute and defend the king's policy, much of which we now know he
disapproved. Naturally he would have been an ally of Fox years before,
and they could either have prevented or shortened the conflict. The
spell of the royal closet and the personal entreaties of the king
prevailed over his better judgment, and made him the antagonist of Fox.
At length, the war being at an end and North in retirement, England saw
these two men, whose nightly conflicts had been the morning news for ten
years, suddenly forming a "coalition," united in the administration, and
pledged to the same policy. As we trace the successive steps which led
to the alliance in the memoirs and diaries of the time, we discover that
it was not so much the coalition as the previous estrangement that was
unnatural. The public, however, could not be expected to see it in that
light, and an uproar greeted the reconciliation that greatly aided the
king in getting rid of the obnoxious Fox. The specimens of the
caricatures to which it gave rise, presented on this and the two
preceding pages, are two out of a great number still procurable.



In France, more conspicuously than in England, kingship broke down in
that century. Louis XV., born in a private station, might have risen to
the ownership of a small livery-stable, in which position his neighbors,
commenting upon his character in the candid manner of French neighbors,
would have epitomized him as a cross, proud pig. Those dull kings who
finished kingship in Europe possessed but one trait which we usually
associate with the kingly character--pride--and this was the single
point of resemblance between Louis XV. and George III. Once in his life,
it is related, Louis XV. uttered a few words with a vivacity approaching
eloquence. "Would you believe," said he to Madame de Pompadour, "that
there is a man in my court who dares to lift his eyes to one of my
daughters?" He was blazing with passion at the thought of such flagrant

And was there ever, since sacred childhood first appealed for protection
to the human heart, a child so unhappily placed as that baby king, an
orphan, with a _roué_ for a guardian, a smooth, insinuating priest for
preceptor, and a dissolute court conspiring to corrupt him? The priest,
who represented what then passed for virtue, taught him virtue out of a
dreary catechism, still extant, which never yet elevated or nobly formed
a human soul--a dead, false thing, with scarcely an atom in it of sound
nutrition for heart or mind. But Cardinal Fleury had some success with
his pupil. Thirty years after, when Pompadour was supplying him with
fresh young girls of fourteen and fifteen, bought from their mothers by
her for this purpose, the king's conscience would not permit him to go
to bed until he had knelt down by the side of the timid victim, and
required her to join him in saying the prescribed prayers.

The courtiers were not less successful in their endeavors. At the tender
age of six years they provided for him an entertainment which gave the
old Marquis de Dangeau the idea that they had formed the _purpose_ of
"drying up in him the very source of good feeling." They caused
thousands of sparrows to be let loose in a vast hall, where they gave
the boy the "_divertissement_" of seeing them shoot the birds, and
covering all the floor with bloody, fluttering, crying victims. He
doubtless enjoyed the spectacle, for at sixteen he shot in cold blood a
pointer bred by himself, and accustomed to feed from his hand. So rude
was he at seventeen, the chroniclers tell us, that the courtiers used
all their arts to give him _du goût pour les femmes_, hoping thereby to
render him "more polite and tractable." The precise manner in which a
bevy of illustrious princesses and duchesses sought to _débaucher le
roi_ during one of the royal hunts is detailed in the diaries and
satirized in the epigrams of the time.

The ladies, long frustrated by the "ferocity" of the youth, who cared
only for hunting, succeeded at last, and succeeded with the applause of
all the court. "Every one else has a mistress," remarks Barbier,
advocate and magistrate; "why shouldn't the king?" It was a long reign
of mistresses. Changes of ministry, questions of peace or war,
promotions and appointments of generals and admirals, the arrest of
authors and nobles--all were traceable to the will or caprice of a
mistress. Frederick of Prussia styled Pompadour, Petticoat the Third,
which some one was kind enough to report to her; and when Voltaire, whom
she "protected," conveyed to the Prussian monarch a complimentary
message, he replied, coldly, "I don't know her." Maria Theresa of
Austria, a proud and high-principled lady, stooped to recognize her
existence, and wrote her civil notes. If there is any truth in the
printed gossip of the innermost court circles of that period, it was
this difference in the treatment of the king's mistress which made
France the ally of Austria in the Seven Years' War.

Would the reader like to know how affairs go on in a court governed by a
mistress, then let him ponder this one sample anecdote, related by the
_femme de chambre_ of Madame de Pompadour, showing how she, _femme de
chambre_ as she was, obtained a lieutenant's commission in the army for
one of her relations. She first asked "madame" for the commission; but
as madame was in full intrigue to remove the Minister of War, this
application did not succeed. "Pressed by my family," the _femme de
chambre_ relates, "who could not conceive that, _in the position in
which I was_, it could be difficult for me to procure a trifling
commission for a good soldier, I asked it directly from the minister
himself. He received me coldly, and gave me little hope. On going out,
the Marquis de V---- followed me, and said: 'You desire a commission.
There is one vacant, which has been promised to a _protégé_ of mine; but
if you are willing to exchange favors with me, I will yield it to you.
What I desire is to play the part of Exempt de Police in "Tartuffe" the
next time madame gives it in the palace before the king. It is a _rôle_
of a few lines only. Get madame to assign that part to me, and the
lieutenancy is yours.' I told madame of this. The thing was done. I
obtained my lieutenancy, and the marquis thanked madame for the _rôle_
as warmly as if she had made him a duke."

Generals were appointed to the command of expeditions for no better
reason than this. That Pompadour drew thirty-six millions of francs from
the "royal treasury," _i. e._, from the earnings of the frugal and
laborious French people, could easily have been borne. It was government
by mistresses and for mistresses, the government of ignorant and idle
caprice, that broke down monarchy in France and set the world on fire.
Of the evils which corrupt rulers bring upon communities, the waste of
the people's money (though that is a great evil in so poor a world as
ours, with such crowds of poor relations and so much to be done) is
among the least. It is the absence of intelligence and public spirit in
the Government that brings on ruin.

"As long as I live," said Louis XV. one day to Madame de Pompadour, "I
shall be the master, to do as I like. But my grandson will have
trouble." Madame was of the same mind, but gave it neater expression:
"After us the deluge."

[Illustration: Assembly of the Notables at Paris, February 22d,

  "Dear objects of my care, I have assembled you to ascertain with
     what sauce you want to be eaten."
  "But we don't want to be eaten at all."
  "You are departing from the question."

[Footnote 22: Champfleury, "Histoire de la Caricature sous la
République," etc., p. 5.]]

[Illustration: Mirabeau.[23] (Paris, 1789.)

[Footnote 23: Champfleury, "Histoire de la Caricature sous la
République," p. 81.]]

The world is familiar with the tragic incidents of the sudden collapse
of the monarchy. Except during the Reign of Terror, which was short, the
caricaturists, whether with the pen or the pencil, played their usual
part. It was almost impossible to caricature the abuses of the times, so
monstrous was the reality. The "local hits" in Beaumarchais' "Marriage
of Figaro," played with rapturous applause a hundred nights in 1784,
were little more than the truth given with epigrammatic brevity. When
the saucy page, Cherubin, confessed that he had behaved very badly, but
rested his defense upon the fact that he had never been guilty of the
slightest indiscretion in _words_, and so obtained both pardon and
promotion, the audience must have felt the perfect congruity of the
incident with the moral code of the period. In Figaro's famous discourse
on the English _God-dam_ there is, indeed, a touch of caricature: "A
fine language the English; a little of it goes a great way. The English
people, it is true, throw in some other words in the course of
conversation, but it is very easy to see that _God-dam_ is the basis of
their language." When he descants upon politics, he rarely goes beyond
the truth: "Ability advance a man in the Government bureaus! My lord is
laughing at me. Be commonplace and obsequious, and you get every thing."
Figaro gives the whole art of French politics in a few words: "To
pretend you don't know what you do know, and to know what you don't; to
hear what you understand, and not to hear what you don't understand; and
especially to pretend you can do a great deal more than you can; often
to have for a very great secret that there is no secret; to shut
yourself up to mend pens and seem profound, when you are only empty and
hollow; to play well or ill the part of a personage; to spread abroad
spies and pensioned traitors; to melt seals, intercept letters, and try
to ennoble the poverty of the means by the importance of the ends--may I
die if that isn't all there is of politics." It is a good hit of Susan's
when she says that vapors are "a disease of quality," only to be taken
in boudoirs. A poor woman whose cause is coming on at court remarks that
selling judgeships is a great abuse. "You are right," says the dolt of a
magistrate; "we ought to get them for nothing." And how a Paris
audience, in the temper of 1789, must have relished the hits at the
hereditary principle: "It is no matter whence you came; the important
question is, whither are you bound?" "What have you done, my lord, to
merit so many advantages--rank, fortune, place? You took the trouble to
be born, nothing more." We can fancy, too, how such touches as this
might bring down the house: "I was thought of for an office, but
unfortunately I was fit for it. An arithmetician was wanted; a dancer
got it."

All men, as Mr. Carlyle observes, laughed at these jests, and none
louder than the persons satirized--"a gay horse-racing Anglo-maniac
noblesse loudest of all."

The first picture given in these pages relating to the French
Revolution, "The Assembly of the Notables," is one of the most
celebrated caricatures ever produced, and one of the best. Setting aside
one or two of Thackeray's, two or three of Gillray's, and half a dozen
of Mr. Nast's, it would be difficult to find its equal. It may be said,
however, that the force of the satire is wholly in the words, which,
indeed, have since become one of the stock jokes of French Joe Millers.
The picture appeared in 1787, when the deficit in the revenue, after
having widened for many years, had become most alarming, and it was at
length proposed to tax the nobility, clergy, and magistrates, hitherto
exempt from vulgar taxation. But the Assembly of the Notables, which was
chiefly composed of the exempt, preferred to prolong inquiry into the
causes of the deficit, and showed an unconquerable reluctance to impose
a tax upon themselves. It was during this delay, so fatal to the
monarchy, that the caricature appeared. There must have been more than
one version of the work, for the one described by Mr. Carlyle in his
"History of the French Revolution" differs in several particulars from
that which we take from M. Champfleury. Mr. Carlyle says: "A _rustic_ is
represented convoking the poultry of his barn-yard with this opening
address, 'Dear _animals_, I have assembled you to advise me what sauce I
shall dress you with,' to which a _cock_ responding, 'We don't want to
be eaten,' is checked by, 'You wander from the point!'"

The outbreak of the Revolution in 1789 menaced Europe with one of the
greatest of all evils--the premature adoption of liberal institutions.
Forever vain and always fruitful of prodigious evil will be attempts to
found a government by the whole people where the mass of the working
population are grossly ignorant and superstitious. The reason is known
to all who have had an opportunity of closely observing the workings of
such minds. They can only be swayed by arts which honest intelligence
can not use, and therefore they will be usually governed by men who have
an interest in misleading them. Great Britain was nearer a republic than
any other nation in Europe; but England, too, needed another century to
get the tap-room reduced, the people's school developed in every parish,
and the educated class intensely alive to the "folly of heaping
importance upon idiots."

[Illustration: The Dagger Scene in the House of Commons. (Gillray, 1793.)]

Edmund Burke was the man who, more than any other, held England back
from revolution in 1792. Rational appeals to the rational faculty could
not have availed. Appalled at what he saw in France, Burke, after thirty
years' advocacy of liberal principles, and assisting to create a
republic in America, became a fanatic of conservatism, and terrified
England into standing by the monarchy. He was alarmed even at the influx
of Frenchmen into England, flying from _La Lanterne_, and he gave
vehement support to the Alien Act, which authorized the summary
expulsion from the kingdom of foreigners suspected by the Government.
Vehement? Some of his sentences read like lunacy. It was in the course
of this debate that the celebrated dagger scene occurred which Gillray
has satirized in the picture on the following page. A wild tale reached
his ears of the manufacture of daggers at Birmingham for the use of
French Jacobins in England, and one of them was given him as a specimen.
It was an implement of such undecided form that it might have served as
a dagger, a pike-head, or a carving-knife. He dashed it upon the floor
of the House of Commons, almost hitting the foot of an honorable member,
and proceeded to declaim against the unhappy exiles in the highest style
of absurdity. "When they smile," said he, "I see blood trickling down
their faces; I see their insidious purposes; I see that the object of
all their cajoling is blood." A pause ensued after the orator had spoken
a while in this strain. "You have thrown down a knife," said Sheridan;
"where is the fork?" A shout of laughter followed this sally, which
relieved the suppressed feelings of the House, but spoiled the "effect"
of Mr. Burke's performance.

[Illustration: The Zenith of French Glory--A View in Perspective.
(Gillray, London, 1793.)]

[Illustration: The Estates. (Paris, 1789.)]

[Illustration: The New Calvary. (Paris, 1792.)

Louis XVI. crucified by the rebels; Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois
bound by the decrees of the factions; Robespierre, mounted upon the
Constitution, presents the sponge soaked in regicides' gall; the Queen,
overwhelmed with grief, demands speedy vengeance; the Duchess de
Polignac, etc.]

In the French caricatures that have come to us from the period of the
Revolution (many hundreds in number) every phase of the struggle is
exhibited with French _finesse_. There is even an elegance in some of
their Revolutionary caricatures. How exquisite, for example, the picture
which presents the first protest of the Third Estate, its first attempt
to be Something in the nation which it maintained! We see a lofty and
beautiful chariot or car of triumph, in which king, nobleman, and clergy
gracefully ride, drawn by a pair of _doves_. The Third Estate is merely
the beaten road on which the whole structure moves. Nothing could more
elegantly satirize the sentimental stage of the Revolution, when the
accumulated abuses of centuries were all to disappear amidst a
universal effusion of brotherly love, while king, lords, and clergy rode
airily along as before, borne up by a mute, submissive nation! When at
last the Third Estate had become "Something" in the nation, a large
number of sentimental pictures signalized the event. In one we see
priest, noble, and peasant clasped in a fervent embrace, the noble
trampling under foot a sheet of paper upon which is printed "Grandeurs,"
the priest treading upon "Benefices," the peasant upon "Hate." All wear
the tricolor cockade, and underneath is written, "The wish accomplished.
This is as I ever desired it should be." In another picture priest,
noble, and peasant are playing together upon instruments--the priest
upon a serpent-shaped trumpet, the noble upon a pipe, and the peasant
upon the violin--the peasant in the middle, leading the performance, and
exchanging looks of complacent affection with the others.

But even in the moment of triumph the effusion was not universal. There
are always disagreeable people who doubt the duration of a millennium as
soon as it has begun. Caricatures represented the three orders dancing
together. "Will it last? won't it last?" sings a by-stander, using the
refrain of an old song. "It is I who must pay the fiddler," cries the
noble to the priest. From being fraternal, the Third Estate became
patronizing. The three orders sit together in a café, and the peasant
says, familiarly, "All right; every man pays his own shot." A picture
entitled "Old Times and the New Time" bore the inscription, "Formerly
the most useful class carried the load, and was trodden under foot.
To-day all share the burden alike." From patronizing and condescending,
the Third Estate, as all the world knows, speedily became aggressive and
arbitrary. "Down with taxes!" appeared on some of the caricatures of
1789, when the public treasury was running dry. An extremely popular
picture, often repeated, exhibits a peasant wearing the costume of all
the orders, with the well-known inscription, so false and so fatal, "A
single One makes the Three." An ignorant family is depicted listening
with gaping eagerness to one who reveals to them that they too are the
order of which they have been hearing such fine things. "_We_ belong to
the Third Estate!" they exclaim, with the triumphant glee of M. Jourdain
when he heard that he had been speaking "prose" all his life without
knowing it.

But peace and plenty did not come to the poor man's cottage, and the
caricaturists began to mock his dream of a better day. We see in one of
the pictures of 1790 a father of a family in chains, with his eyes fixed
in ecstasy upon a beam of light, labeled "Hope." In another, poor Louis
XVI. is styled "The Restorer of Liberty," but underneath we read the sad
question, "_Eh bien_, but when will that put the chicken in the pot?" A
devil entering a hovel is set upon by a peasant, who pummels him with a
stick, while an old man cries out, "Hit him hard, hard, my son; he is an
aristocrat;" and under the whole is written, "Is the devil, then, to be
always at our door?" Again, we have the three orders forging the
constitution with great ardor, the blacksmith holding the book on the
anvil, while the priest and noble swing the sledge-hammer. Under the
picture is the French smith's refrain, "_Tot-tot-tot, Battez chaud,
Tot-tot-tot._" From an abyss a working-man draws a bundle of papers
bearing the words, "The New Constitution, the Desire of the Nation,"
saying, as he does so, "Ah, I shall be well content when I have all
those papers!"

The popular pictures grew ill-tempered as the hopes of the people
declined, and the word _aristocrat_ became synonymous with all that is
most hostile to the happiness of man. A devil attired as a priest,
teaching a school of little aristocrats, extols the massacre of St.
Bartholomew. Citizens and soldiers are in full cry after a many-headed
monster labeled "Aristocracy." An ass presides over a court of justice,
and the picture is inscribed, "The Ass on the Bench; or, the End of Old
Times." The clergy came in for their ample share of ridicule and
vituperation. "What do we want with monks?" exclaimed an orator from the
tribune of the Assembly in 1790. "If you tell me," he continued, "that
it is just to allow pious men the liberty to lead a sedentary, solitary,
or contemplative life, my answer is, that every man can be sedentary,
solitary, or contemplative in his own room." Another speaker said, "If
England to-day is flourishing, she owes it in part to the abolition of
the religious orders." The caricaturists did not delay to aim their
shafts at this new game. We see nuns trying on fashionable head-dresses,
and friars blundering through a military exercise. The spectacle was
exhibited to Europe of a people raging with contemptuous hate of every
thing which had from time immemorial been held in honor.

[Illustration: President of a Revolutionary Committee amusing Himself
with his Art before the Session begins. (Paris, 1793.)]

As time wore on, after every other order in the State had been in turn
the object of special animosity, the royal family, the envied victims of
the old state of things, became the unpitied victims of the new. Until
their ill-starred attempt to escape from France in June, 1792, there
remained some little respect for the king, and some tenderness for his
children. The picture given elsewhere of the crucifixion of the king was
published by his adherents some months before the crisis as figurative
of his sufferings, not as prophetic of his fate. But there was neither
respect nor pity for the unhappy man after his blundering attempt to
leave the country. An explosion of caricature followed. Before that
event satirical pictures had been exposed only in the print-sellers'
windows, but now, as M. Bayer records, "caricatures were sold wherever
any thing was sold." The Jacobin Club, he adds, as often as they had a
point to carry, caused caricatures to be made, which the shop-keepers
found it to their interest to keep for sale.

[Illustration: Rare Animals: or, The Transfer of the Royal Family from
the Tuileries to the Temple. (Champfleury, 1792.)]

A large number of the pictures which appeared during the last months of
the king's life have been preserved. At an earlier stage of the movement
both friends and foes of the monarchy used the satiric pencil, but now
there was none to take the side of this bewildered family, and the
pictures aimed at them were hard and pitiless. The reader has but to
turn to the specimen here given, which was called forth by the transfer
of the royal family from their home in the Tuileries to their prison in
the Temple, to comprehend the spirit of those productions. In others we
find the king represented as a blind man groping his way; as a baby; as
an idiot who breaks his playthings and throws away his crown and
sceptre. The queen excited a deeper feeling. The Parisians of 1792
appear to have had for that most unhappy of women only feelings of
diabolical hate. She called forth all the tiger which, according to
Voltaire, is an ingredient in the French character. The caricaturists
liked to invest her with the qualities and the form of a tigress, living
in a monstrous alliance with a king-ram, and becoming the mother of
monsters. The foolish tale of her saying that she would quench her
thirst with the blood of Frenchmen was treated by the draughtsmen of the
day as though it were an unquestionable fact.

Never was a woman so hated as she was by infuriate Paris in 1792. Never
was womanhood so outraged as in some of the caricatures of that period.
Nothing relating to her had any kind of sacredness. Her ancestors, her
country, her mother, her children, her love for her children, her
attachment to her husband, were all exhibited in the most odious light
as so many additional crimes against liberty. Need it be said that her
person was not spared? The single talent in which the French excel all
the rest of the human family is that of subtly insinuating indecency by
pen and pencil. But they did not employ this talent in the treatment of
Marie Antoinette when she was about to redeem a frivolous life by a
dignified death. With hideous indecency they presented her to the scorn
of the public, as African savages might exhibit the favorite wife of a
hostile chief when they had brought her to their stinking village a
captive, bound, naked, and defiled.

And so passed away forever from the minds of men the sense of the
divinity that once had hedged in a king. But so congenial to minds
immature or unformed is the idea of hereditary chieftainship that to
this day in Europe the semblance of a king seems the easiest resource
against anarchy. Yet kings were put upon their good behavior, to hold
their places until majorities learn to control their propensities and
use their minds.

[Illustration: Aristocrat and Democrat. (Paris, 1793.)

  _Aristocrat._ "Take care of your cap."
  _Democrat._ "Look out for your queue."]



[Illustration: "_You_ frank! _You_ simple! Have confidence in _you_!
YOU! Why, you would blow your nose with your left hand for nothing but
the pleasure of deceiving your right, if you could!"--GAVARNI,
_Fourberies de Femmes, Paris, 1846_.]

Observe this picture of man's scorn of woman, drawn by Gavarni, the most
noted of French caricaturists. I place it first, because it expresses
the feeling toward "the subject sex" which satiric art has oftenest
exhibited, and because it was executed by the person who excelled all
others in delineating what he called the _fourberies de femmes_. Such,
in all time, has been the habitual tone of self-indulgent men toward
their victims. Gavarni well represents men in this sorry business of
reviling women; for in all the old civilizations men in general have
done precisely what Gavarni did recently in Paris--first degraded women,
then laughed at them.

The reader, perhaps, after witnessing some of the French plays and comic
operas with which we have been favored in recent years--such as
"Frou-Frou," "The Sphinx," "Alixe," and others--may have turned in wild
amazement to some friend familiar with Paris from long residence, and
asked, Is there _any_ truth in this picture? Are there _any_ people in
France who behave and live as these people on the stage behave and live?
Many there can not be; for no community could exist half a generation if
the majority lived so. But are there any? The correct answer to this
question was probably given the other evening by a person accustomed to
Paris life: "Yes, there are some; they are the people who write such
stuff as this. As for the _bal masqué_, and things of that kind, it is a
mere business, the simple object of which is to beguile and despoil the
verdant of every land who go to Paris in quest of pleasure." French
plays and novels we know do most ludicrously misrepresent the people of
other countries. What, for example, can be less like truth than that
solemn donkey of a Scotch duke in M. Octave Feuillet's play of "The
Sphinx?" The dukes of Scotland are not so numerous nor so unconspicuous
a body of men that they can not be known to a curious inquirer, and it
is safe to assert that, whatever their faults may be, there is not among
them a creature so unspeakably absurd as the _viveur infernal_ of this
play. If the author is so far astray with his Scotch duke, he is perhaps
not so very much nearer the truth with his French marquis, a personage
equally foreign to his experience.

We had in New York some years ago a dozen or two of young fellows, more
or less connected with the press, most of them of foreign origin, who
cherished the delusion that eating a bad supper in a cellar late at
night, and uttering or singing semi-drunken nonsense, was an exceedingly
noble, high-spirited, and literary way of consuming a weakly
constitution and a small salary. They thought they were doing something
in the manner of Dr. Johnson and Charles Lamb. Any one who should have
judged New York in the year 1855 by the writings of these young
gentlemen would have supposed that we were wholly given up to silly,
vulgar, and reckless dissipation. But, in truth, the "Bohemians," as
they were proud to be styled, were both few and insignificant; their
morning scribblings expressed nothing but the looseness of their own
lives, and that was half pretense.

Two admiring friends have written the life of Gavarni, the incomparable
caricaturist of _la femme_; and they tell us just how and where and when
the artist acquired his "subtle and profound knowledge" of the sex. It
is but too plain that he knew but one class of women, the class that
lives by deluding fools. "During all one year, 1835," say these admiring
biographers, "it seems that in the life, the days, the thoughts of
Gavarni, there was nothing but _la femme_. According to his own
expression, woman was his 'grand affair.'" He was in love, then? By no
means. Our admiring authors proceed to describe this year of devotion to
_la femme_ as a period when "intrigues were mingled together, crossed
and entangled with one another; when passing inclinations, the fancies
of an evening, started into being together with new passions; when
rendezvous pressed upon rendezvous; when there fell upon Gavarni a rain
of perfumed notes from the loves of yesterday, from the forgotten loves
of last month, which he inclosed in one envelope, as he said, 'like dead
friends in the same coffin.'"[24]

[Footnote 24: "Gavarni, l'Homme et l'Oeuvre," par Edmond et Jules de
Goncourt, Paris, 1873.]

The authors enlarge upon this congenial theme, describing their hero as
going forth upon _le pavé de_ Paris in quest of _la femme_ as a keen
hunter takes to the forest for the plump partridge or the bounding deer.
Some he brought down with the resistless magnetism of his eye. "It was
for him a veritable rapture, as well as the exertion of a power which he
loved to try, to magnetize with his eye and make his own the first woman
whom he chanced to meet in the throng." The substance of the chapter is
that Gavarni, casting aside all the restraints of civilization and
decency, lived in Paris the life of a low and dirty animal; and when, in
consequence of so living, he found himself in Clichy for debt, he
replenished his purse by delineating, as the _fourberies de femmes_, the
tricks of the dissolute women who had got his money. That, at least, is
the blunt American of our authors' dainty and elegant French.

[Illustration: Matrimony--A Man loaded with Mischief.[25]

  "A monkey, a magpie, and wife
   Is the true emblem of strife."
          _Old English Tavern Sign._

[Footnote 25: "From History of Sign-boards," by Larwood and Hotten.]]

In the records of the past, we find men speaking lightly of women whose
laws and usages concede least to women.

[Illustration: Settling the Odd Trick. (London, 1778.[26])

[Footnote 26: From Wright's "Caricature History of the Georges," p.

The oldest thing accessible to us in these modern cities is the
Saturday-morning service in an unreformed Jewish synagogue, some of the
observances of which date back beyond the historic period. But there is
nothing in it older than the sentiment expressed by the men when they
thank God for his goodness in not making them women. Only men are
admitted to the synagogue as equal worshipers, the women being consigned
to the gallery, spectators of their husbands' devotion. The old Jewish
liturgy does not recognize their presence.

Older than the Jewish liturgy are the sacred books of the Hindoos. The
famous passage of the "Padma Parana," translated by the Abbé Dubois,[27]
has been part of the domestic code of the Hindoos for thousands of
years. According to the Hindoo lawgiver, a woman has no god on earth but
her husband, and no religion except to gratify, obey, and serve him. Let
her husband be crooked, old, infirm, offensive; let him be irascible,
irregular, a drunkard, a gambler, a debauchee; let him be reckless of
his domestic affairs, as if possessed by a devil; though he live in the
world without honor; though he be deaf or blind, and wholly weighed down
by crime and infirmity--still shall his wife regard him as her god. With
all her might shall she serve him, in all things obey him, see no
defects in his character, and give him no cause of uneasiness. Nay,
more: in every stage of her existence woman lives but to obey--at first
her parents, next her husband and _his_ parents, and in her old age she
must be ruled by her children. Never during her whole life can she be
under her own control.

[Footnote 27: "Description of the Character, Manners, and Customs of the
People of India," vol. i., p. 316, by J. A. Dubois, London, 1817.]

These are the general principles upon which the life of women in India
is to be conducted. The Hindoo writer was considerate enough to add a
few particulars: "If her husband laughs, she ought to laugh; if he
weeps, she ought to weep; if he is disposed to speak, she ought not to
join in the conversation. Thus is the goodness of her nature displayed.
What woman would eat till her husband has first had his fill? If he
abstains, she will surely fast also; if he is sad, will she not be
sorrowful? and if he is gay, will she not leap for joy? In the absence
of her husband her raiment will be mean." Such has been the conception
of woman's duty to man by all the half-developed races from time
immemorial, and such to this day are the tacit demand and expectation of
the brutalized males of the more advanced races. Gavarni, married, would
have been content with no subservience much short of that.

Happily, nature has given to woman the means of a fell revenge, for she
usually holds the peace of the household and the happiness of all its
members in her hands. The satirical works that come to us from the
Oriental lands teem with evidence that women have always known how to
get a fair share of domestic authority. If they are slaves, they have
ever been adepts in the arts and devices of slaves. The very squaws of
our Indians often contrive to rule their brawny lords. Is not the whole
history of the war between the sexes included in the little story of the
manner in which Pocahontas was entrapped on board a British vessel lying
in the James River two hundred and fifty years ago? The captain had
promised to the aunt of this dusky princess the gift of a copper kettle
if she would bring her niece to the ship; and accordingly one afternoon,
when she found herself on the river-bank with her husband and
Pocahontas, she was suddenly seized with a longing to go on board,
saying that this was the third time the ship had been in their river,
and yet she had never visited it. Her grumpy old husband refusing, _she
began to cry_, and then, Pocahontas joining her entreaties, of course
the old man had to unfasten his canoe and paddle them off to the vessel.
This model couple returned to the shore poorer by a niece of uncertain
character, and richer by the inestimable treasure of a copper kettle.
What fine lady could have managed this delicate affair better? Is it not
thus that tickets, trinkets, and dresses are won every day in the cities
of the modern world?

[Illustration: "Who was that gentleman that just went out?"

"Why, didn't he see you, after all? He called on business, and has been
waiting for you these two hours. He leaves town this evening. But how
warm you are, dear!"--GAVARNI, _Fourberies de Femmes, Paris, 1846_.]

An attentive study of the Greek and Roman literatures furnishes many
illustrations of the remark just made, that men who degrade women deride
them. Among the Greeks, who kept women in subjection and seclusion, and
gave them no freedom of choice in matters of dearest concern to them,
the foibles of the sex were treated very much as they now are by the
dissolute caricaturists of Paris. Aristophanes's mode of representing
the women of Athens is eminently Gavarnian; and nothing was more natural
than that an Aristophanes should come after an Anacreon. The lyric poet
depicts women as objects of desire, superior in alluring charm even to
wine, rosy wine; and Aristophanes delights to exhibit the women's
apartment of an Athenian house as a riotous and sensualized harem. How
many expressions of utter distrust and dislike of women occur in the
Greek poets!

  "For this, and only this, I'll trust a woman,
   That if you take life from her she will die;
   And, being dead, will come to life no more.
   In all things else I am an infidel."

Thus Antiphanes, who died twenty-two hundred years before Gavarni was
born. Menander justifies the gods for tormenting Prometheus, though his
crime was only stealing a spark of fire.

  "But, O ye gods, how infinite the mischief!
   That little spark gave being to a woman,
   And let in a new race of plagues to curse us."

The well-known epigram of Palladas upon marriage expresses a thought
which has been uttered by satirists in every form of which language is

  "In marriage are two happy things allowed--
   A wife in wedding garb and in her shroud.
   Who, then, dares say that state can be accurst
   Where the last day's as happy as the first?"

[Illustration: _She._ "Now, understand me. To-morrow morning he will ask
you to dinner. If he has his umbrella with him, it will mean that he has
not got his stall at the theatre. In that case, don't accept. If he has
no umbrella, come to dinner."

_He._ "But (you know we must think of every thing) suppose it should
rain to-morrow morning?"

_She._ "If it rains, he will get wet--that's all. If I don't want him to
have an umbrella, he won't have one. How silly you are!"--GAVARNI,
_Fourberies de Femmes, Paris, 1846_.]

Many others will occur to the reader who is familiar with the lighter
utterances of the ancients. But in Greece, as in China, India, and
Japan, and wherever else men and women have been joined in wedlock,
there have been marriages in which husband and wife have lived on terms
nobler than those contemplated by the law or demanded by usage. Where
could we find a juster view of the duties of husband and wife than in
that passage of Xenophon's dialogue on Economy where Ischomachus tells
Socrates how he had taken his young wife into his confidence, and come
to a clear understanding with her as to the share each should take in
carrying on the household? Goethe must have had this passage in his mind
when he wrote the fine tribute to the dignity of housekeeping in
"Wilhelm Meister." Ischomachus had married a girl of fifteen, who came
to him as wives in Greece usually came to their husbands--an absolute
stranger to him. He had to get acquainted with her after marriage, as,
indeed, he says, "When we were well enough acquainted, and were so
familiar that we began to converse freely with one another, I asked her
why she thought I had taken her for my wife." Much is revealed in that
sentence. He tells her that, being married, they are now to have all
things in common, and each should only strive to enhance the good of
the household. She stares with wonder. Her mother had told her that her
fortune would be wholly her husband's, and all that she had to do was to
live virtuously and soberly. Ischomachus assents, but he proceeds to
show her that, in the nature of things, husband and wife must be equal
co-operators, he getting the money, she administering it; he fighting
the battle of life out-of-doors, she within the house. At great length
this model husband illustrates his point, and entirely in the spirit of
the noble passage in Goethe. She catches the idea at length. "It will be
of little avail," she says, "my keeping at home unless you send such
provisions as are necessary." "True," he replies, "and of very little
use my providing would be if there were no one at home to take care of
what I send; it would be pouring water into a sieve."

This fine presentation of household economy, like that of the German
poet, is, unhappily, only a dialogue of fiction. It was merely
Xenophon's conception of the manner in which a philosopher of prodigious
wisdom _might_ deal with a girl of fifteen, whom he had married without
having enjoyed the pleasure of a previous acquaintance with her.
Doubtless there was here and there in ancient Greece a couple who
succeeded in approximating Xenophon's ideal.

Among the Romans women began to acquire those legal "rights" to which
they owe whatever advance they have ever made toward a just equality
with men. It was Roman law that lifted a wife from the condition of a
cherished slave to a status something higher than that of daughter. But
there was still one fatal defect in her position--her husband could
divorce her, but she could not divorce him. Cicero, the flower of Roman
culture, put away the wife of his youth after living with her thirty
years, and no remonstrance on her part would have availed against his
decision. But a Roman wife _had_ rights. She could not be deprived of
her property, and the law threw round her and her children a system of
safeguards which gave her a position and an influence not unlike those
of the "lady of the house" at the present time. Instead of being
secluded in a kind of harem, as among the Greeks, she came forward to
receive her husband's guests, shared some of their festivities, governed
the household, superintended the education of her children, and enjoyed
her ample share of the honor which he inherited or won. "Where you are
Caius, I am Caia," she modestly said, as she entered for the first time
her husband's abode. He was paterfamilias, she materfamilias; and the
rooms assigned to her peculiar use were, as with us, the best in the

To the Roman law women are infinitely indebted. Among the few hundreds
of families who did actually share the civilization of Cicero, the
Plinys, and Marcus Aurelius, the position of a Roman matron was one of
high dignity and influence, and accordingly the general tone of the best
Roman literature toward woman is such as does honor to both sexes. She
was even instructed in that literature. In such a family as that of
Cicero, the daughter would usually have the same tutors as the son, and
the wife of such a man would familiarly use her husband's library.
Juvenal, that peerless reviler of women, the Gavarni of poets, deplores
the fact:

  "But of all plagues the greatest is untold--
   The book-learned wife in Greek and Latin bold;
   The critic dame who at her table sits,
   Homer and Virgil quotes, and weighs their wits,
   And pities Dido's agonizing fits.
   She has so far the ascendant of the board,
   The prating pedant puts not in one word;
   The man of law is nonplused in his suit;
   Nay, every other female tongue is mute."

[Illustration: "Madame, your cousin Betty wishes to know if you can
receive her."

"Impossible! Tell her that to-day I _receive_."--_Les Tribulations de la
Vie Élégante, par Girin, Paris, 1870._]

The whole of this sixth satire of Juvenal, in which the Gavarnian
literature of all nations was anticipated and exhausted, is a tribute to
woman's social importance in Rome. No Greek would have considered woman
worthy of so elaborate an effort. And as in Athens, Anacreon, the poet
of sensual love, was naturally followed by Aristophanes, a satirist of
women, so, in Rome, Ovid's "Art of Love" preceded and will forever
explain Juvenal's sixth satire. All illustrates the truth that
sensualized men necessarily undervalue and laugh at women. In all
probability, Juvenal's satire was a caricature as gross and groundless
as the pictures of Gavarni. The instinct of the satirist is first to
select for treatment the exceptional instance of folly, and then to
exaggerate that exceptional instance to the uttermost. Unhappily many
readers are only too much inclined to accept this exaggerated exception
as if it were a representative fact. There is a passage in Terence in
which he expresses the feeling of most men who have been plagued, justly
or unjustly, by a woman:

  "Not one but has the sex so strong within her,
   She differs nothing from the rest. Step-mothers
   All hate their step-daughters, and every wife
   Studies alike to contradict her husband,
   The same perverseness running through them all."

The acute reader, on turning to the play of the "Mother-in-law," from
which these lines are taken, will not be surprised to learn that the
women in the comedy are in the right, and the men grossly in fault.

[Illustration: A Scene of Conjugal Life. (Daumier, Paris, 1846.)]

The literature of the Middle Ages tells the same story. The popular
tales of that period exhibit women as equally seductive and malevolent,
silly, vain, not to be trusted, enchanting to the lover, a torment to
the husband. Caricatures of women and their extravagances in costume and
behavior occur in manuscripts as far back as A.D. 1150, and those
extravagances may serve to console men of the present time by their
enormity. Many specimens could be given, but they are generally too
formless or extravagant to be interesting. There are also many rude
pictures from those centuries which aimed to satirize the more active
foibles of the sex. One of these exhibits a wife belaboring her husband
with a broom, another pounding hers with a ladle, another with a more
terrible instrument, her withering tongue, and another with the surest
weapon in all the female armory--tears. In the Rouen Cathedral there are
a pair of carvings, one representing a fierce struggle between husband
and wife for the possession of a garment the wearing of which is
supposed to be a sign of mastery, and the other exhibiting the
victorious wife in the act of putting that garment on. On the portal of
a church at Ploërmel, in France, there is a well-cut representation of a
young girl leading an elderly man by the nose. More violent contests are
frequently portrayed, and even fierce battles with bellows and pokers,
stirring incidents in the "eternal war between man and woman."

The gentle German priest who wrote the moral ditties of the "Ship of
Fools" ought not to have known much of the tribulations of husbands; but
in his poem on the "Wrath and great Lewdnes of Wymen," he becomes a kind
of frantic Caudle, and lays about him with remarkable vigor. He calls
upon the "Kinge most glorious of heaven and erth" to deliver mankind
from the venomous and cruel tongues of froward women. One chiding woman,
he observes, "maketh greater yell than a hundred magpies in one cage;"
and let her husband do what he will, he can not quiet her till "she hath
chid her fill." No beast on earth is so capable of furious hate--not
the bear, nor the wolf, nor the lion, nor the lioness; no, nor the cruel
tigress robbed of her whelps, rushing wildly about, tearing and gnawing
stock and tree.

  "A wrathfull woman is yet more mad than she.
     Cruell Medea doth us example shewe
   Of woman's furour, great wrath and cruelty;
     Which her owne children dyd all to pecis hewe."

This poet, usually so moderate and mild in his satire of human folly, is
transported with rage in contemplating the faults of women, and holds
them up to the abhorrence of his readers. A woman, he remarks, can
wallow in wicked delights, and then, _giving her mouth a hurried wipe_,
come forward with tranquil mind and an air of child-like innocence,
sweetly protesting that she has done nothing wrong. The most virulent
woman-hater that was ever jilted or rejected could not go beyond the
bachelor priest who penned this infuriate diatribe upon the sex.

[Illustration: A Splendid Spread. (Cruikshank, 1850.)]

Nor was Erasmus's estimate of women more favorable than Brandt's, though
he expresses it more lightly and gayly, as his manner was. And curious
it is to note that the foibles which he selects for animadversion are
precisely those which form the staple of satire against women at the
present time. In one of his Colloquies he describes the "Assembly of
Women, or the Female Parliament," and reports at length the speech of
one of the principal members, the wise Cornelia. This eloquent lady
heartily berates the wives of tradesmen for presuming to copy the
fashions of the rich and noble. Would any one believe that the following
sentences were written nearly four hundred years ago?

"'Tis almost impossible by the outside," says Cornelia to her parliament
of fine ladies, "to know a duchess from a kitchen-wench. All the ancient
bounds of modesty have been so impudently transgressed, that every one
wears what apparel seems best in her own eyes. At church and at the
play-house, in city and country, you may see a thousand women of
indifferent if not sordid extraction swaggering it abroad in silks and
velvets, in damask and brocard, in gold and silver, in ermines and sable
tippets, while their husbands perhaps are stitching Grub-street
pamphlets or cobbling shoes at home. Their fingers are loaded with
diamonds and rubies, for Turkey stones are nowadays despised even by
chimney-sweepers' wives. It was thought enough for your ordinary women
in the last age that they were allowed the mighty privilege to wear a
silk girdle, and to set off the borders of their woolen petticoats with
an edging of silk. But now--and I can hardly forbear weeping at the
thoughts of it--this worshipful custom is quite out-of-doors. If your
tallow-chandlers', vintners', and other tradesmen's wives flaunt it in a
chariot and four, what shall your marchionesses or countesses do, I
wonder? And if a country squire's spouse will have a train after her
full fifteen ells long, pray what shift must a princess make to
distinguish herself? What makes this ten times worse than otherwise it
would be, we are never constant to one dress, but are as fickle and
uncertain as weathercocks--or the men that preach under them. Formerly
our head-tire was stretched out upon wires and mounted upon barbers'
poles, women of condition thinking to distinguish themselves from the
ordinary sort by this dress. Nay, to make the difference still more
visible, they wore caps of ermine powdered. But they were mistaken in
their politics, for the cits soon got them. Then they trumpt up another
mode, and black quoiss came into play. But the ladies within Ludgate not
only aped them in this fashion, but added thereto a gold embroidery and
jewels. Formerly the court dames took a great deal of pains in combing
up their hair from their foreheads and temples to make a tower; but they
were soon weary of that, for it was not long before this fashion too was
got into Cheapside. After this they let their hair fall loose about
their foreheads; but the city gossips soon followed them in that."

And this game, we may add, has been kept up from that day to this; nor
does either party yet show any inclination to retire from the contest.

Erasmus was, indeed, an unmerciful satirist of women. In his "Praise of
Folly" he returns to the charge again and again. "That which made Plato
doubt under what genus to rank woman, whether among brutes or rational
creatures, was only meant to denote the extreme stupidness and folly of
that sex, a sex so unalterably simple, that for any of them to thrust
forward and reach at the name of wise is but to make themselves the more
remarkable fools, such an endeavor being but a swimming against the
stream, nay, the turning the course of nature, the bare attempting
whereof is as extravagant as the effecting of it is impossible: for as
it is a trite proverb, _That an ape will be an ape, though clad in
purple_; so a woman will be a woman, _i. e._, a fool, whatever disguise
she takes up." And again: "Good God! what frequent divorces, or worse
mischief, would oft sadly happen, except man and wife were so discreet
as to pass over light occasions of quarrel with laughing, jesting,
dissembling, and such like playing the fool? Nay, how few matches would
go forward, if the hasty lover did but first know how many little tricks
of lust and wantonness (and perhaps more gross failings) his coy and
seemingly bashful mistress had oft before been guilty of? And how fewer
marriages, when consummated, would continue happy, if the husband were
not either sottishly insensible of, or did not purposely wink at and
pass over, the lightness and forwardness of his good-natured wife?"

[Illustration: American Lady walking in the Snow.

"I have often shivered at seeing a young beauty picking her way through
the snow with a pale rose-colored bonnet set on the very top of her
head. They never wear muffs or boots, even when they have to step to
their sleighs over ice and snow. They walk in the middle of winter with
their poor little toes pinched into a miniature slipper, incapable of
excluding as much moisture as might bedew a primrose."--MRS. TROLLOPE,
_Domestic Manners of the Americans_, vol. ii., p. 135. 1830.]

The ill opinion entertained of women by men during the ages of darkness
and superstition found expression in laws as well as in literature. The
age of chivalry! Investigators who have studied that vaunted period in
the court records and law-books tell us that respect for women is a
thing of which those records show no trace. In the age of chivalry the
widow and the fatherless were regarded by lords, knights, and "parsons"
as legitimate objects of plunder; and woe to the widow who prosecuted
the murderers of her husband or the ravagers of her estate! The homage
which the law paid to women consisted in burning them alive for offenses
which brought upon men the painless death of hanging. We moderns read
with puzzled incredulity such a story as that of Godiva, doubtful if so
vast an outrage could ever have been committed in a community not
entirely savage. Let the reader immerse himself for only a few months in
the material of which the history of the Middle Ages must be composed,
if it shall ever be truly written, and the tale of Godiva will seem
credible and natural. She was her lord's chattel; and probably the
people of her day who heard the story commended _him_ for lightening the
burdens of Coventry on such easy terms, and saw no great hardship in
the task assigned to her.

People read with surprise of Thomas Jefferson's antipathy to the poems
and novels of Sir Walter Scott. He objected to them because they gave a
view of the past ages utterly at variance with the truth as revealed in
the authentic records, which he had studied from his youth up.

[Illustration: "'_My dear Baron, I am in the most pressing need of five
hundred franc!_' Must I put an _s_ to franc?"

"No. In the circumstances it is better not. It will prove to the Baron
that, for the moment, you really are destitute of every thing--even of
orthography."--ED. DE BRAUMONT, _Paris_, 1860.]

[Illustration: "Madame, I have the honor--"

"Sir, be good enough to come round in front and speak to me."

"Madame, I really haven't the time. I must be off in five
minutes."--CHAM, _Paris_, 1850.]

Coming down to recent times, we still find the current anecdote and
proverb in all lands bearing hardly upon the sex. A few kindly and
appreciative sayings pass current in Scotland; and the literatures of
Germany, England, and the United States teem with the noblest and
tenderest homage to the excellence of women. But most of these belong to
the literature of this century, and bear the names of men who may be
said to have created the moral feeling of the present moment. It is
interesting to notice that in one of our latest and best dictionaries of
quotation, that of Mr. M. M. Ballou, of Boston, there are one hundred
and eleven short passages relating to women, of which only one is
dishonorable to them, and that dates back a century and a half, to the
halcyon day of the British libertine--"Every woman is at heart a
rake.--POPE." So thought all the dissolute men of Pope's circle, as we
know from their conversation and letters. So thought the Duc de
Rochefoucauld, who said, "There are few virtuous women who are not weary
of their profession;" and "Most virtuous women, like concealed
treasures, are secure because nobody seeks after them." So thought
Chesterfield, who told his hopeful son that he could never go wrong in
flattering a woman, for women were foolish and frail without exception:
"I never knew one in my life who had good sense, or who reasoned and
acted consequentially for four-and-twenty hours together." And so _must_
think every man who lived as men of fashion then lived. "If I dwelt in a
hospital," said Dr. Franklin once, "I might come to think all mankind

[Illustration: "Where are the diamonds exhibited?"

"I haven't the least idea; but I let myself be guided by my wife. Women
get at such things by instinct."--CHAM, _Paris_, 1868.]

But a man need not be a fine gentleman nor a _roué_ to think ill of
womankind. He needs only to be commonplace; and hence it is that the
homely proverbs of all time bear so hardly upon women. The native land
of the modern proverb is Spain, as we might guess from Sancho Panza's
exhaustless repertory; and most of those homely disparaging sentences
concerning women that pass current in all lands appear to have
originated there. What Spain has left unsaid upon women's foibles, Italy
has supplied. Most of the following proverbs are traceable to one of the
two peninsulas of Southern Europe: "He that takes an eel by the tail or
a woman by her word may say he holds nothing." "There is one bad wife in
Spain, and every man thinks he has her." "He that loses his wife and a
farthing hath great loss of his farthing." "If the mother had never
been in the oven, she would not have looked for her daughter there."
"He that marries a widow and three children marries four thieves." "He
that tells his wife news is but newly married." "A dead wife's the best
goods in a man's house." "A man of straw is worth a woman of gold." "A
woman conceals what she knows not." "As great a pity to see a woman weep
as to see a goose go barefoot." "A woman's mind and winter's wind change
oft." "There is no mischief in the world done but a woman is always
one." "Commend a wedded life, but keep thyself a bachelor." "Where there
are women and geese, there wants no noise." "Neither women nor linen by
candle-light." "Glasses and lasses are brittle ware." "Two daughters and
a back-door are three thieves." "Women commend a modest man, but like
him not." "Women in mischief are wiser than men." "Women laugh when they
can and weep when they will." "Women, priests, and poultry never have

[Illustration: Evening Scene in the Parlor of an American

"Ladies who have no engagements (in the evening) either mount again to
the solitude of their chamber, or remain in the common sitting-room, in
a society cemented by no tie, endeared by no connection, which choice
did not bring together, and which the slightest motive would break
asunder. I remarked that the gentlemen were generally obliged to go out
every evening on business; and, I confess, the arrangement did not
surprise me."--MRS. TROLLOPE, _Domestic Manners of the Americans_, vol.
ii., p. 111. 1830.]

Among the simple people of Iceland similar proverbs pass current:
"Praise the fineness of the day when it is ended; praise a woman when
she is buried; praise a maiden when she is married." "Trust not to the
words of a girl; neither to those which a woman utters, for their hearts
have been made like the wheel that turns round; levity was put into
their bosoms."

Among the few broadsides of Elizabeth's reign preserved in the British
Museum there is one which is conceived in perfect harmony with these
proverbs. It presents eight scenes, in all of which women figure
disadvantageously. There is a child-bed scene, in which the mother lies
in state, most preposterously dressed and adorned, while a dozen other
women are idling and gossiping about the room. Women are exhibited also
at the market, at the bakehouse, at the ale-house, at the river washing
clothes, at church, at the bath, at the public well; but always
chattering, gossiping, idling, unless they are fighting or flirting.
Another caricature in the same collection, dated 1620, the year of the
_Mayflower_ and Plymouth Rock, contains seven scenes illustrative of the
lines following:

  "Who marieth a Wife upon a Moneday,
   If she will not be good upon a Twesday,
   Lett him go to y{e} wood upon a Wensday,
   And cutt him a cudgell upon the Thursday,
   And pay her soundly upon a Fryday;
   And she mend not, y{e} divil take her a Saterday,
   That he may eat his meat in peace on the Sunday."

To complete the record of man's ridicule of the sex to which he owes his
happiness, I add the pictures given in this chapter, which bring that
record down to date. They tell their own story. The innocent fun of
English Cruikshank and Leech contrasts agreeably with the subtle
depravity indicated by some of the French caricaturists, particularly by
Gavarni, who surpasses all men in the art of exaggerating the address of
the class of women who regard men in the light of prey. The point of
Gavarni's satire usually lies in the words printed underneath his
pictures, and the pictures generally consist of the two figures who
utter those words. But the expression which he contrives to impart to
his figures and faces by a few apparently careless lines is truly
wonderful, and it can scarcely be transferred to another surface. He
excels in the expression of a figure with the face turned away, the
whole effect being given by the outline of the head three-quarters
averted. There is one picture of his, given on the following page, of a
woman and her lover, he sitting in a chair reading _with his hat on_,
indicating the extreme of familiarity, she standing at the window
sewing, and keeping an eye on the pavement below. "He's coming!" she
says; "take off your hat." In the attitude of the woman there is a
mingled effect of tranquillity and vigilance that is truly remarkable.
In all the range of caricature it would be difficult to find a better
specimen of the art than this, or a worse. The reader may be curious to
see a few more of these _fourberies de femmes_, as evolved from the
brain of the dissolute Gavarni. It is almost impossible to transfer the
work of his pencil, but here are a few of his verbal elucidations:

Under a picture of a father and daughter walking arm-in-arm: "How did
you know, papa, that I loved M. Léon?" "Because you always spoke of M.

Two young ladies in confidential conversation: "When I think that M.
Coquardeau is going to be my husband, I feel sorry for Alexander." "And
I for Coquardeau."

[Illustration: "He's coming! Take off your hat!"--GAVARNI, _Paris_,

Two married ladies in conversation: "Yes, my dear, my husband has been
guilty of bringing that creature into my house before my very eyes, when
he knows that the only man I love in the world is two hundred leagues
from here."--"Men are contemptible" (_lâches_).

Husband writing a note, and his wife standing behind him:

     "MY DEAR SIR,--Caroline begs me to remind you of a certain duet,
     of which she is extravagantly fond, and which you promised to
     give her. Pray be so good as to dine with her to-day, and bring
     your music with you. For my part, I shall be deprived of the
     pleasure of hearing you, for I have an engagement at Versailles.
     Pity me, my dear sir, and believe me always your affectionate


A young man in wild excitement reading a letter:

     "On receipt of this, mount, fly; overtake in the Avenue de
     Neuilly a yellow cab, the steps down, gray horse, old coachman,
     108, one lantern lighted! Follow it. It will stop at the side
     door of a house at Sablonville. A man and a woman will get out.
     That man--he was my lover! And that woman--she is yours!"

[Illustration: The Scholastic Hen and her Chickens. (Cruikshank, 1846.)

_Miss Thimblebee loquitur._ "Turn your heads the other way, my dears,
for here are two horridly handsome officers coming."]

Lady fainting, and a man in consternation supporting her head: "Clara,
Clara! dearest, look up! Don't! Clara, I say! You don't know _any_ nice
young man! I am an ass, with my stupid jealousy. And you shall have your
velvet shawl. Come, Clara! Now then, Clara, _please_!"

Lady dropping two letters into the post-office. First letter:

     "MY KIND AMÉDÉE,--This evening, toward eight, at the Red Ball.
     Mind, now, and don't keep waiting your


Second letter:

     "MY HENRY,--Well-beloved, judge of my despair--I have a sore
     throat that is simply frightful. It will be impossible for me to
     go out this evening. They even talk of applying twenty leeches.
     Pity a great deal, and love always, your


In these numberless satires upon women, executed by pen and pencil,
there is a certain portion of truth, for, indeed, a woman powerfully
organized and fully developed, but without mental culture and devoid of
the sentiment of duty, can be a creature most terrific. If the
possession of wealth exempts her from labor, there are four ways in
which she can appease the ennui of a barren mind and a torpid
conscience. One is deep play, which was, until within seventy years, the
resource chiefly relied upon by women of fashion for killing the hours
between dinner and bed; one is social display, or the struggle for the
leadership of a circle, an ambition perhaps more pernicious than
gambling; another is intrigues of love, no longer permitted in the more
advanced countries, but formerly an important element in fashionable
life everywhere; finally, there is the resource of excessive and
ceaseless devotion, the daily mass, the weekly confession, frequent and
severe fasting, abject slavery to the ritual. Of all these, the one
last named is probably the most injurious, since it tends to bring
virtue itself into contempt, and repels the young from all serious and
elevated modes of living. Accordingly, in studying the historic families
of Europe, we frequently find that the devotee and the debauchee
alternate, each producing the other, both being expressions of the same
moral and mental defect. But whether a mindless woman gambles, dresses,
flirts, or fasts, she is a being who furnishes the satirist with
legitimate material.

Equal rights, equal education, equal chances of an independent
career--when women have enjoyed these for so much as a single century in
any country, the foibles at which men have laughed for so many ages will
probably no longer be remarked, for they are either the follies of
ignorance or the vices resulting from a previous condition of servitude.
Nor will men of right feeling ever regard women with the cold, critical
eye of a Chesterfield or a Rochefoucauld, but rather with something of
the exalted sentiment which caused old Homer, whenever he had occasion
to speak of a mother, to prefix an adjective usually applicable to
goddesses and queens, which we can translate best, perhaps, by our
English word REVERED.



[Illustration: Chinese Caricature of an English Foraging Party.[28]

[Footnote 28: From "The Middle Kingdom," vol. ii., p. 177, by S. W.
Williams, New York, 1871.]]

We are apt to think of the Chinese as a grave people, unskilled in the
lighter arts of satire and caricature; but, according to that amusing
traveler, M. Huc, they are the _French_ of Asia--"a nation of cooks, a
nation of actors"--singularly fond of the drama, gifted in pasquinade,
addicted to burlesque, prolific in comic ideas and satirical devices. M.
Huc likens the Chinese Empire to an immense fair, where you find mingled
with the bustle of traffic all kinds of shows, mountebanks, actors,
Cheap Jacks, thieves, gamblers, all competing continually and with
vociferous uproar for the favor of the crowd. "There are theatres
everywhere; the great towns are full of them; and the actors play night
and day." When the British officers went ashore, in the retinue of their
first grand embassy, many years ago, they were astonished to see Punch
in all his glory with Judy, dog, and devil, just as they had last seen
him on Ascot Heath, except that he summoned his audience by gong and
triangle instead of pipes and drum. The Orient knew Punch perhaps ages
before England saw him. In China they have a Punch conducted by a single
individual, who is enveloped from head to foot in a gown. He carries
the little theatre on his head, works the wires with his hands under the
gown, executes the dialogue with his mouth concealed by the same
garment, and in the intervals of performance plays on two instruments.
He exhibits the theatre reduced to its simplest form, the work of the
company, the band, the manager, treasurer, scene-shifter, and
property-man all being done by one person.

In the very nature of the Chinese, whether men or women, there is a
large element of the histrionic, even those pompous and noisy funerals
of theirs being little more than an exhibition of private theatricals.
The whole company gossip, drink tea, jest, laugh, smoke, and have all
the air of a pleasant social party, until the nearest relation of the
deceased informs them that the time to mourn has come. Instantly the
conversation ceases and lamentation begins. The company gather round the
coffin; affecting speeches are addressed to the dead; groans, sobs, and
doleful cries are heard on every side; tears, real tears, roll down many
cheeks--all is woe and desolation. But when the signal is given to cease
mourning, "the performers," says M. Huc, "do not even stop to finish a
sob or a groan, but they take their pipes, and, lo! they are again those
incomparable Chinese, laughing, gossiping, and drinking tea."

It need not be said that Chinese women have an ample share of this
peculiar talent of their race, nor that they have very frequent occasion
to exercise it. Nowhere, even in the East, are women more subject or
more artful than in China. "When a son is born," as a Chinese authoress
remarks, "he sleeps upon a bed, he is clothed with robes, and plays with
pearls; every one obeys his princely cries. But when a girl is born, she
sleeps upon the ground, is merely wrapped in a cloth, plays with a tile,
and is incapable of acting either virtuously or viciously. She has
nothing to think of but preparing food, making wine, and not vexing her
parents." This arrangement the authoress _approves_, because it prepares
the girl to accept without repining the humiliations of her lot. It is a
proverb in China that a young wife should be in her house but "a shadow
and an echo." As in India, she does not eat with her husband, but waits
upon him in silent devotion till he is done, and then satisfies her own
appetite with inferior food.

Such is the theory of her position. But if we may judge from Chinese
satires, women are not destitute of power in the household, and employ
the arts of the oppressed with effect. Among the Chinese poems recently
translated by Mr. G. C. Stent in the volume called "The Jade Chaplet,"
there are a few in the satiric vein which attest the ready adroitness of
Chinese women in moments of crisis. According to an English author, "A
woman takes as naturally to a lie as a rat to a hole." The author of
these popular Chinese poems was evidently of the same opinion. The
specimen subjoined, which has not been previously published in the
United States, shows us that there is much in common between the jokes
of the two hemispheres of our mundane sphere.


  "'Twas spring--the air was redolent
   With many a sweet and grateful scent;
   The peach and plum bloomed side by side,
   Like blushing maid and pale-faced bride;
   Coy willows stealthily were seen
   Opening their eyes of living green--
   As if to watch the sturdy strife
   Of nature struggling into life.

  "One sunny morn a Mr. Chuang
   Was strolling leisurely along;
   Viewing the budding flowers and trees--
   Sniffing the fragrance-laden breeze--
   Staring at those who hurried by,
   Each loaded with a good supply
   Of imitation sycee shoes,
   To burn--for friends defunct to use--
   Of dainty viands, oil, and rice,
   And wine to pour in sacrifice,
   On tombs of friends who 'neath them slept.
   (Twas '3d of the 3d,' when the graves are swept.)

  "Chuang sauntered on. At length, on looking round,
   He spied a cozy-looking burial-ground;
   'I'll turn in here and rest a bit,' thought he,
   'And muse awhile on life's uncertainty;
   This quiet place just suits my pensive mood,
   I'll sit and moralize in pleasant solitude.'
   So, sitting down upon a grassy knoll,
   He sighed--when all at once upon him stole
   A smothered sound of sorrow and distress,
   As if one wept in very bitterness.

  "Mr. Chuang, hearing this, at once got up to see,
   Who the sorrowing mourner could possibly be,
       When he saw a young woman _fanning a grave_.
   Her 'three-inch gold lilies'[29] were bandaged up tight
   In the deepest of mourning--her clothes, too, were white.[30]
   Of all the strange things he had read of or heard,
   This one was by far the most strange and absurd;
       He had never heard tell of one _fanning a grave_.

  "He stood looking on at this queer scene of woe,
   Unobserved, but astounded, and curious to know
       The reason the woman was _fanning the grave_.
   He thought, in this case, the best thing he could do
   Was to ask her himself; so without more ado,
   He hemmed once or twice, then bowing his head,
   Advanced to the woman and smilingly said,
      'May I ask, madam, why you are _fanning that grave_?'

  "The woman, on this, glancing up with surprise,
   Looked as though she could scarcely believe her own eyes,
       When she saw a man watching her _fanning the grave_.
   He was handsome, and might have been thirty or more;
   The garb of a Taoist he tastefully wore;
   His kind manner soon put her quite at her ease,
   So she answered demurely, 'Listen, sir, if you please,
       And I'll tell you the reason I'm _fanning this grave_.

  "'My husband, alas! whom I now (_sob_, _sob_) mourn,
   A short time since (_sob_) to this grave (_sob_) was borne;
       And (_sob_) he lies buried in this (_sob_, _sob_) grave.'
   (Here she bitterly wept.) 'Ere my (_sob_) husband died,
   He called me (_sob_) once more (_sob_, _sob_) to his side,
   And grasping my--(_sob_) with his dying lips said,
   "When I'm gone (_sob_, _sob_) promise (_sob_) never to wed,
       _Till the mold is_ (sob) _dry on the top of my grave_."

  "'I come hither daily to (_sob_) and to weep,
   For the promise I gave (_sob_) I'll faithfully keep,
       _I'll not wed till the mold is_ (sob) _dry on his grave_.
   I don't want to marry again (_sob_), I'm sure,
   But poverty (_sob_) is so hard to endure;
   And, oh! I'm so lonely, that I come (_sob_) to try
   _If I can't with my fan help the mold_ (sob) _to dry_;
       _And that is the reason I'm fanning his grave_.'

  "Hearing this, Chuang exclaimed, 'Madam, give me the fan.
   I'll willingly help you as much as I can
       In drying the mold on your poor husband's grave.'
   She readily handed the fan up to Chuang
   (Who in magic was skilled--as he proved before long),
   For he muttered some words in a low under-tone,
   Flicked the fan, and the grave was as dry as a bone;
       'There,' said he, 'the mold's dry on the top of the grave.'

  "Joy plainly was seen on the poor woman's face,
   As she hastily thanked him, ere quitting the place,
       For helping her dry up the mold on the grave.
   Chuang watched her go off with a cynical sigh,
   Thought he, 'Now suppose I myself were to die,
   How long would _my_ wife in her weeds mourn my fate?
   Would _she_, like this woman, have patience to wait
       _Till the mold was well dry on her poor husband's grave?_'"

[Footnote 29: Small feet.]

[Footnote 30: White is the color worn as mourning in China.]

There is an amusing sequel to this poem, in which Chuang is exhibited
putting his wife to the test. Being a magician, endowed with miraculous
power, he pretends to die; and while his body is in its coffin awaiting
burial, he assumes the form of a handsome young man, and pays to his
mourning wife ardent court.

  "In short, they made love, and the next day were wed;
   She cheerfully changing her white clothes to red.[31]
   Excited by drink, they were going to bed,
       When Chuang clapped his hand to his brow--
   He groaned. She exclaimed, 'What! are _you_ dying too?
   _One_ husband I've lost, and got married to you;
   Now _you_ are took bad. Oh, what shall I do?
       Can I help you? If so, tell me how.'

  "'Alas!' groaned the husband, 'I'm sadly afraid
   The disease that I have is beyond human aid.
   Oh! the sums upon sums I the doctors have paid!
       There a remedy is, to be sure:
   It is this: _take the brains from a living man's head_--
   _If not to be had, get, and mash up instead
   Those of one who no more than three days has been dead._
       'Twill effect an infallible cure!'"

[Footnote 31: Red is worn on joyful occasions, such as weddings, etc.]

The distracted widow did not hesitate. There was the coffin of her
lamented husband before her, and he had not yet been dead three days:

  "She grasped the chopper savagely, her brows she firmly knit,
   And battered at the coffin until the lid was split.
   But, oh! what mortal pen could paint her horror and her dread?
   _A voice within exclaimed, 'Hollo!' and Chuang popped up his head!_

  "'Hollo!' again repeated he, as he sat bolt-upright:
   '_What made you smash my coffin in?--I see, besides, you're tight!
   You've dressed yourself in red, too!_ What means this mummery?
   Let me have the full particulars, and don't try on flummery.'

  "She had all her wits about her, though she quaked a bit with fear.
   Said she (the artful wretch!), 'It seems miraculous, my dear!
   _Some unseen power impelled me to break the coffin-lid,
   To see if you were still alive_--which, of course, you know I did!

  "'_I felt sure you must be living; so, to welcome you once more,
   My mourning robes I tore off, and my wedding garments wore;
   But, were you dead, to guard against all noxious fumes, I quaffed,
   As a measure of precaution, a disinfecting draught!_'

  "Said Chuang, 'Your tale is plausible, but I think you'd better stop;
   Don't fatigue yourself by telling lies; just let the matter drop.
   _To test your faithfulness to me_, I've been merely shamming dead,
   _I'm the youth you just now married--my widow I've just wed!_'"

Appended to these two poems, there is the regulation moral, in which
married ladies are warned not to be too sure of their constancy, nor
judge severely the poor widows who make haste to console themselves.

  "Do your best, but avoid supercilious pride,
   For you never can tell what you'll do till you're tried."

We can not say much for the translation of these comic works. Mr. Stent
is a high authority in the Chinese language and literature, but is not
at home in English prosody. It is plain, however, from his translations,
rough as they may be, that there is a comic vein in the Chinese
character which finds expression in Chinese literature.

[Illustration: A Deaf Mandarin. (From a Figure in the British

[Footnote 32: "Malcolm's Caricaturing," plate iv., fig. 9.]]

Caricature, as we might suppose, is a universal practice among them;
but, owing to their crude and primitive taste in such things, their
efforts are seldom interesting to any but themselves. In Chinese
collections, we see numberless grotesque exaggerations of the human form
and face, some of which are not devoid of humor and artistic merit; but
the specimens given on this and the next page suffice for the present

The Chinese, it appears, are fond of exhibiting their English visitors
in a ridiculous light. The caricature of an English foraging party,
given in the first part of this chapter, was brought home thirty years
ago by a printer attached to an American mission in China. Recently a
new illustration of this propensity has gone abroad. In 1874 an account
appeared in the English papers of the audience granted to the foreign
ministers by the Emperor of China, in which Mr. Wade, the English
embassador, was represented as having been overwhelmed with awe and
alarm in the presence of the august potentate, the Son of Heaven. The
origin of the paragraph was explained by the _Athenoeum_:

"The account was absurd in the extreme, and was universally recognized
as a squib, except by a writer in the columns of a weekly contemporary,
who gravely undertook the task of showing, by reference to the whole of
his previous career, how very unlikely it was that Mr. Wade should give
way to the weakness imputed to him. It now turns out that the imaginary
narrative first appeared in the columns of _Puck_, a comic paper (in
English), published at Shanghai; that it was translated into Chinese by
some native wag, who palmed it off on his countrymen as a truthful
account of the behavior of the English barbarian on this occasion; and
that some inquiring foreigner, ignorant of the source from whence it
came, retranslated it into English, and held it up as another instance
of the way in which the Chinese pamphleteers were attempting to
undermine our influence in China by covering our minister with

[Illustration: After Dinner. A Chinese Caricature. (From a Figure in the
British Museum.)[33]

[Footnote 33: "Malcolm's Caricaturing," plate iv., fig. 3.]]

The burlesque which thus imposed upon a London editor was a creditable
specimen of _Puck's_ comic talent: "His majesty having ascended the
throne, the envoys were led to the space at its foot, when they
performed the ceremony of inclining the body. They did not kneel. By the
side of the steps there was placed a yellow table, and the envoys stood
in rank to read out their credentials, the British having the leading
place. When he had read a few sentences, he began to tremble from head
to foot, and was incapable of completing the perusal. The emperor asked,
'Is the prince of your country well?' But he could utter no reply. The
emperor again asked, 'You have besought permission to see me time and
time again. What is it you have to say?' But again he was unable to make
an answer. The next proceeding was to hand in the credentials; but, in
doing this, he fell down on the ground time after time, and not a
syllable could he articulate. Upon this Prince Kung laughed loud at him
before the entire court, exclaimed 'Chicken-feather!' and gave orders to
have him assisted down the steps. He was unable to move of his own
accord, and sat down on the floor, perspiring and panting for breath.
The whole twelve shook their heads and whispered together no one knows
what. When the time came for the assembly at the banquet, they still
remained incapable, and dispersed in hurried confusion. Prince Kung said
to them, 'You would not believe that it is no light matter to come face
to face with his majesty; but what have you got to say about it



The bright, good-tempered people of Japan are familiar with humor in
many forms, and know how to sport with pencil as well as with pen. Their
very sermons are not devoid of the jocular. When a preacher has pointed
his moral by a comical tale, he will turn to the audience in the most
familiar, confidential manner, and say, "Now, isn't that a funny story?"
or, "Wasn't that delightful?" Sometimes he will half apologize for the
introduction of mirth-moving anecdotes: "Now, my sermons are not written
for the learned. I address myself to farmers and tradesmen, who, hard
pressed by their daily business, have no time for study.... Now,
positively you must not laugh if I introduce a light story now and then.
Levity is not my object; I only want to put things in a plain and easy
manner."[34] Nothing yet brought from that country is more interesting
to us than the specimens given in Mr. Mitford's book of the short,
homely, humorous, sound Japanese sermons. The existence of this work is
another proof of the wisdom of giving consular and diplomatic
appointments to men who know how to use their eyes, their hands, and
their minds. The sumptuous work upon Japan by M. Aimé Humbert could
scarcely have been produced if the author had not been at the head of a
powerful embassy.

[Footnote 34: "Tales of Old Japan," vol. ii., p. 138, by A. W. Mitford,
Secretary of the British Legation in Japan, London, 1874.]

The Japanese are a gentler and kindlier people than the Chinese; women
occupy a better position among them; and hence the allusions to the sex
in their literature are less contemptuous and satirical. The preacher
whose sermons Mr. Mitford selects for translation is what we should term
an eclectic--one who owns fealty to none of the great religions of the
East, but gleans lessons of truth and wisdom from them all. Imagine him
clad in gorgeous robes of red and white, attended by an acolyte,
entering a chapel--a spacious, pleasant apartment which opens into a
garden--bowing to the sacred picture over the altar, and taking a seat
at a table. Some prayers are intoned, incense is burned, offerings are
received, a passage from a sacred book is read, a cup of tea is quaffed,
and then the preacher rises and begins his chatty, humorous, anecdotical
discourse. Whenever he makes a point, the audience utters a responsive
"Nimmiyô," varying the sound so as to accord with the sentiment
expressed by the speaker. Indeed, it would be difficult to name one
rite, or observance, or custom, or eccentricity of religion practiced
among us here in the United States, the counterpart of which has not
been familiar to the Japanese from time immemorial. They have sacred
books, a peculiar cross, liturgies, temples, acolytes, nunneries,
monasteries, holy water, incense, prayers, sermons, collections, the
poor-box, responses, priestly robes, the bell, a series of ceremonies
strongly resembling the mass, followed by a sermon, sacred pictures,
anointing, shaven crowns, sects, orders, and systems of theology.

Their sermons abound in parables and similes. The preacher just
mentioned illustrates his points with amusing ingenuity. For example, in
a sermon on the folly of putting excessive trust in wealth, strength, or
any other advantage merely external or transitory, he relates a parable
of a shell-fish--the sazayé--noted for the extreme hardness of its
shell. One day, just after a large sazayé had been vaunting his perfect
security against the dangers to which other fish were exposed, there
came a great splash in the water. "Mr. Sazayé," continued the preacher,
"shut his lid as quickly as possible, kept quite still, and thought to
himself what in the world the noise could be. Could it be a net? Could
it be a fish-hook? Were the tai and the other fish caught? he wondered;
and he felt quite anxious about them. However, at any rate, _he_ was
safe. And so the time passed; and when he thought all was over, he
stealthily opened his shell, and slipped out his head and looked all
round him, and there seemed to be something wrong--something with which
he was not familiar. As he looked a little more carefully, lo and
behold! there he was in a fish-monger's shop, and with a card, marked
'Sixteen Cash,' on his back.

"Isn't that a funny story?" cries the jovial preacher, smiling
complacently upon the congregation. "Poor shell-fish! I think there are
people not unlike him to be found _in China and India_." This is a
favorite joke with the preacher. He frequently closes a satirical
passage by a similar remark. "I don't mean to say that there are any
such persons _here_. Oh no. Still, there are plenty of them to be
found--say, for instance, in the back streets of India."

The tone of this merry instructor in righteousness when he is speaking
of women is that of a tender father toward children. He assumes that
"women _and_ children" can not understand any thing profound and
philosophical. Righteousness he defines as "the fitting," the
ought-to-be; and he considers it "fitting" that women should be the
assiduous, respectful, and ever-obedient servants of men. A parable
illustrates his meaning. A great preacher of old was once the guest of a
rich man of low rank, who was "particularly fond of sermons," and had a
lovely daughter of fifteen, who waited upon the preacher at dinner, and
entertained him afterward upon the harp. "Really," said the learned
preacher, "it must be a very difficult thing to educate a young lady up
to such a pitch as this." The flattered parents, could not refrain from
boasting of their daughter's accomplishments--her drawing, painting,
singing, and flower-plaiting. The wily preacher, Socrates-like,
rejoined: "This is something quite out of the common run. _Of course_
she knows how to rub the shoulders and loins, and has learned the art of
shampooing?" This remark offends the fond father. "I have not fallen so
low as to let my daughter learn shampooing!" The preacher blandly
advises him not to put himself in a passion, and proceeds to descant
upon the Whole Duty of Woman, as understood in Japan. "She must look
upon her husband's parents as her own. If her honored father-in-law or
mother-in-law fall ill, her being able to plait flowers and paint
pictures and make tea will be of no use in the sick-room. To shampoo her
parents-in-law, and nurse them affectionately, without employing a
shampooer or servant-maid, is the right path of a daughter-in-law." Upon
hearing these words, the father sees his error, and blushes with shame;
whereupon the preacher admits that music and painting are not bad in
themselves, only they must not be pursued to the exclusion of things
more important, of which shampooing is one.

He draws a sad picture of a wife who has learned nothing but the
graceful arts. Before the bottom of the family kettle is scorched black
the husband will be sick of his bargain--a wife all untidy about the
head, her apron fastened round her as a girdle, a baby twisted somehow
into the bosom of her dress, and nothing in the house to eat but some
wretched bean-soup, and that bought at a store. "What a
ten-million-times miserable thing it is when parents, making their
little girls hug a great guitar, listen with pleasure to the poor little
things playing on instruments big enough for them to climb upon, and
squeaking out songs in their shrill treble voices!" Such girls, if not
closely watched, will be prematurely falling in love and running away to
be married.

These sermons are so curiously different from any thing which we are
accustomed to think of as sermons that I am tempted to extract the
conclusion of one of them. The text is a passage from "Môshi," which
touches upon the folly of men in being more ashamed of a bodily defect
than of a moral fault. Mark how the merry Japanese preacher "improves"
the subject:

"What mistaken and bewildered creatures men are! What says the old song?
'Hidden far among the mountains, the tree which seems to be rotten, if
its _core_ be yet alive, may be made to bear flowers.' What signifies it
if the hand or the foot be deformed? The heart is the important thing.
If the heart be awry, what though your skin be fair, your nose aquiline,
your hair beautiful? All these strike the eye alone, and are utterly
useless. It is as if you were to put horse-dung into a gold-lacquer
luncheon-box. This is what is called a fair outside, deceptive

"There's the scullery-maid been washing out the pots at the
kitchen-sink, and the scullion, Chokichi, comes up and says to her,
'You've got a lot of charcoal smut sticking to your nose,' and points
out to her the ugly spot. The scullery-maid is delighted to be told of
this, and answers, 'Really! whereabouts is it?" Then she twists a towel
round her finger, and, bending her head till mouth, and forehead are
almost on a level, she squints at her nose, and twiddles away with her
fingers as if she were the famous Gotô at work carving the ornaments of
a sword-handle. 'I say, Master Chokichi, is it off yet?' 'Not a bit of
it. You've smeared it all over your cheeks now.' 'Oh dear! oh dear!
where can it be?' And so she uses the water-basin as a looking-glass,
and washes her face clean; then she says to herself, 'What a dear boy
Chokichi is!' and thinks it necessary, out of gratitude, to give him
relishes with his supper by the ladleful, and thanks him over and over
again. But if this same Chokichi were to come up to her and say, 'Now,
really, how lazy you are! I wish you could manage to be rather less of a
shrew,' what do you think the scullery-maid would answer then? Reflect
for a moment. 'Drat the boy's impudence! If I were of a bad heart or an
angular disposition, should I be here helping him? You go and be hanged!
You see if I take the trouble to wash your dirty bedclothes for you any
more.' And she gets to be a perfect devil, less only the horns.

"There are other people besides the poor scullery-maid who are in the
same way. 'Excuse me, Mr. Gundabei, but the embroidered crest on your
dress of ceremony seems to be a little on one side.' Mr. Gundabei
proceeds to adjust his dress with great precision. 'Thank you, sir. I am
ten million times obliged to you for your care. If ever there should be
any matter in which I can be of service to you, I beg that you will do
me the favor of letting me know;' and, with a beaming face, he expresses
his gratitude. Now for the other side of the picture: 'Really, Mr.
Gundabei, you are very foolish; you don't seem to understand at all. I
beg you to be of a frank and honest heart: it really makes me quite sad
to see a man's heart warped in this way.' What is his answer? He turns
his sword in his girdle ready to draw, and plays the devil's tattoo upon
the hilt. It looks as if it must end in a fight soon.

"In fact, if you help a man in any thing which has to do with a fault of
the body, he takes it very kindly, and sets about mending matters. If
any one helps another to rectify a fault of the heart, he has to deal
with a man in the dark, who flies in a rage, and does not care to amend.
How out of tune all this is! And yet there are men who are bewildered up
to this point. Nor is this a special and extraordinary failing. This
mistaken perception of the great and the small, of color and of
substance, is common to us all--to you and to me.

"Please give me your attention. The form strikes the eye; but the heart
strikes not the eye. Therefore, that the heart should be distorted and
turned awry causes no pain. This all results from the want of sound
judgment; and that is why we can not afford to be careless.

"The master of a certain house calls his servant Chokichi, who sits
dozing in the kitchen. 'Here, Chokichi! The guests are all gone. Come
and clear away the wine and fish in the back room.'

"Chokichi rubs his eyes, and, with a sulky answer, goes into the back
room, and, looking about him, sees all the nice things paraded on the
trays and in the bowls. It's wonderful how his drowsiness passes away:
no need for any one to hurry him now. His eyes glare with greed, as he
says, 'Halloo! here's a lot of tempting things! There's only just one
help of that omelet left in the tray. What a hungry lot of guests!
What's this? It looks like fish rissoles;' and with this he picks out
one, and crams his mouth full, when, on one side, a mess of young
cuttle-fish, in a Chinese porcelain bowl, catches his eyes. There the
little beauties sit in a circle, like Buddhist priests in religious
meditation! 'Oh, goodness! how nice!' and just as he is dipping his
finger and thumb in, he hears his master's footstep, and, knowing that
he is doing wrong, he crams his prize into the pocket of his sleeve, and
stoops down to take away the wine-kettle and cups; and as he does this,
out tumbles the cuttle-fish from his sleeve. The master sees it.

"'What's that?'

"Chokichi, pretending not to know what has happened, beats the mats, and
keeps on saying, 'Come again the day before yesterday; come again the
day before yesterday.' [An incantation used to invite spiders, which are
considered unlucky by the superstitious, to come again at the Greek

"But it's no use his trying to persuade his master that the little
cuttle-fish are spiders, for they are not the least like them. It's no
use hiding things--they are sure to come to light; and so it is with the
heart--its purposes will out. If the heart is enraged, the dark veins
stand out on the forehead; if the heart is grieved, tears rise to the
eyes; if the heart is joyous, dimples appear in the cheeks; if the heart
is merry, the face smiles. Thus it is that the face reflects the
emotions of the heart. It is not because the eyes are filled with tears
that the heart is sad, nor that the veins stand out on the forehead that
the heart is enraged. It is the heart which leads the way in every
thing. All the important sensations of the heart are apparent in the
outward appearance. In the 'Great Learning' of Kôshi it is written, 'The
truth of what is within appears upon the surface.' How, then, is the
heart a thing which can be hidden? To answer when reproved, to hum tunes
when scolded, show a diseased heart; and if this disease be not quickly
taken in hand, it will become chronic, and the remedy become difficult.
Perhaps the disease may be so virulent that even Giba and Henjaku [two
famous Indian physicians] in consultation could not effect a cure. So,
before the disease has gained strength, I invite you to the study of the
moral essays entitled 'Shingaku' [the "Learning of the Heart"]. If you
once arrive at the possession of your heart as it was originally by
nature, what an admirable thing that will be! In that case your
conscience will point out to you even the slightest wrong bias or

"While upon this subject, I may tell you a story which was related to me
by a friend of mine. It is a story which the master of a certain
money-changer's shop used to be very fond of telling. An important part
of a money-changer's business is to distinguish between good and bad
gold and silver. In the different establishments, the ways of teaching
the apprentices this art vary; however, the plan adopted by the
money-changer was as follows: at first he would show them no bad silver,
but would daily put before them good money only; when they had become
thoroughly familiar with the sight of good money, if he stealthily put a
little base coin among the good, he found that they would detect it
immediately. They saw it as plainly as you see things when you throw
light on a mirror. This faculty of detecting base money at a glance was
the result of having learned thoroughly to understand good money. Having
been taught once in this way, the apprentices would not make a mistake
about a piece of base coin during their whole lives, as I have heard. I
can't vouch for the truth of this; but it is very certain that the
principle, applied to moral instruction, is an excellent one--it is a
most safe mode of study. However, I was further told that if, after
having thus learned to distinguish good money, a man followed some other
trade for six months or a year, and gave up handling money, he would
become just like any other inexperienced person, unable to distinguish
the good from the base.

"Please reflect upon this attentively. If you once render yourself
familiar with the nature of the uncorrupted heart, from that time forth
you will be immediately conscious of the slightest inclination toward
bias or selfishness. And why? Because the natural heart is illumined.
When a man has once learned that which is perfect, he will never consent
to accept that which is imperfect; but if, after having acquired this
knowledge, he again keeps his natural heart at a distance, and gradually
forgets to recognize that which is perfect, he finds himself in the dark
again, and that he can no longer distinguish base money from good. I beg
you to take care. If a man falls into bad habits, he is no longer able
to perceive the difference between the good impulses of his natural
heart and the evil impulses of his corrupt heart. With this benighted
heart as a starting-point, he can carry out none of his intentions, and
he has to lift his shoulders, sighing and sighing again. A creature much
to be pitied indeed! Then he loses all self-reliance, so that, although
it would be better for him to hold his tongue and say nothing about it,
if he is in the slightest trouble or distress he goes and confesses the
crookedness of his heart to every man he meets. What a wretched state
for a man to be in! For this reason, I beg you to learn thoroughly the
true silver of the heart, in order that you may make no mistake about
the base coin. I pray that you and I, during our whole lives, may never
leave the path of true principles.

"I have an amusing story to tell you in connection with this, if you
will be so good as to listen.

"Once upon a time, when the autumn nights were beginning to grow chilly,
five or six tradesmen in easy circumstances had assembled together to
have a chat; and, having got ready their picnic-box and wine-flask, went
off to a temple on the hills, where a friendly priest lived, that they
might listen to the stags roaring. With this intention they went to call
upon the priest, and borrowed the guests' apartments [all the temples
in China and Japan have guests' apartments, which may be secured for a
trifle, either for a long or short period. It is false to suppose that
there is any desecration of a sacred shrine in the act of using it as a
hostelry: it is the custom of the country] of the monastery; and as they
were waiting to hear the deer roar, some of the party began to compose
poetry. One would write a verse of Chinese poetry, and another would
write a verse of seventeen syllables; and as they were passing the
wine-cup the hour of sunset came, but not a deer had uttered a call;
eight o'clock came, and ten o'clock came; still not a sound from the

"'What can this mean?' said one. 'The deer surely ought to be roaring.'

"But, in spite of their waiting, the deer would not roar. At last the
friends got sleepy, and, bored with writing songs and verses, began to
yawn, and gave up twaddling about the woes and troubles of life; and as
they were all silent, one of them, a man fifty years of age, stopping
the circulation of the wine-cup, said:

"'Well, certainly, gentlemen, thanks to you, we have spent the evening
in very pleasant conversation. However, although I am enjoying myself
mightily in this way, my people at home must be getting anxious, and so
I begin to think that we ought to leave off drinking.'

"'Why so?' said the others.

"'Well, I'll tell you. You know that my only son is twenty-two years of
age this year; and a troublesome fellow he is, too. When I'm at home, he
lends a hand sulkily enough in the shop; but as soon as he no longer
sees the shadow of me, he hoists sail, and is off to some bad haunt.
Although our relations and connections are always preaching to him, not
a word has any more effect than wind blowing into a horse's ear. When I
think that I shall have to leave my property to such a fellow as that,
it makes my heart grow small indeed. Although, thanks to those to whom I
have succeeded, I want for nothing; still, when I think of my son, I
shed tears of blood night and day.'

"And as he said this with a sigh, a man of some forty-five or forty-six
years said:

"'No, no. Although you make so much of your misfortunes, your son is but
a little extravagant, after all. There's no such great cause for grief
there. I've got a very different story to tell. Of late years my
shop-men, for one reason or another, have been running me into debt,
thinking nothing of a debt of fifty or seventy ounces; and so the
ledgers get all wrong. Just think of that! Here have I been keeping
these fellows ever since they were little children unable to blow their
own noses, and now, as soon as they come to be a little useful in the
shop, they begin running up debts, and are no good whatever to their
master. You see, you only have to spend your money upon your own son.'

"Then another gentleman said:

"'Well, I think that to spend money upon your shop-people is no such
great hardship, after all. Now, I've been in something like trouble
lately. I can't get a penny out of my customers. One man owes me
fifteen ounces; another owes me twenty-five ounces. Really that is
enough to make a man feel as if his heart were worn away.'

"When he had finished speaking, an old gentleman, who was sitting
opposite, playing with his fan, said:

"'Certainly, gentlemen, your grievances are not without cause; still, to
be perpetually asked for a little money, or to back a bill, by one's
relations or friends, and to have a lot of hangers-on dependent on one,
as I have, is a worse case still.'

"But before the old gentleman had half finished speaking, his neighbor
called out:

"'No, no; all you gentlemen are in luxury compared to me. Please listen
to what I have to suffer. My wife and my mother can't hit it off anyhow.
All day long they're like a couple of cows butting at one another with
their horns. The house is as unendurable as if it were full of smoke. I
often think it would be better to send my wife back to her village; but,
then, I've got two little children. If I interfere and take my wife's
part, my mother gets low-spirited. If I scold my wife, she says that I
treat her so brutally because she's not of the same flesh and blood; and
then she hates me. The trouble and anxiety are beyond description: I'm
like a post stuck up between them.'

"And so they all twaddled away in chorus, each about his own troubles.
At last one of the gentlemen, recollecting himself, said:

"'Well, gentlemen, certainly the deer ought to be roaring; but we've
been so engrossed with our conversation that we don't know whether we
have missed hearing them or not.'

"With this he pulled aside the sliding-door of the veranda and looked
out, and, lo and behold! a great big stag was standing perfectly silent
in front of the garden.

"'Halloo!' said the man to the deer, 'what's this? Since you've been
there all the time, why did you not roar?'

"Then the stag answered, with an innocent face,

"'Oh, I came here to listen to the lamentations of you gentlemen.'

"Isn't that a funny story?

"Old and young, men and women, rich and poor, never cease grumbling from
morning till night. All this is the result of a diseased heart. In
short, for the sake of a very trifling inclination or selfish pursuit,
they will do any wrong in order to effect that which is impossible. This
is want of judgment, and this brings all sorts of trouble upon the
world. If once you gain possession of a perfect heart, knowing that
which is impossible to be impossible, and recognizing that that which is
difficult is difficult, you will not attempt to spare yourself trouble
unduly. What says the 'Chin-Yo?' The wise man, whether his lot be cast
among rich or poor, among barbarians or in sorrow, understands his
position by his own instinct. If men do not understand this, they think
that the causes of pain and pleasure are in the body. Putting the heart
on one side, they earnestly strive after the comforts of the body, and
launch into extravagance, the end of which is miserly parsimony. Instead
of pleasure, they meet with grief of the heart, and pass their lives in
weeping and wailing. In one way or another, everything in this world
depends upon the heart. I implore every one of you to take heed that
tears fall not to your lot."

[Illustration: The Rat Rice Merchants. (A Japanese Caricature, from
"Japan and the Japanese," by Aimé Humbert.)]

A people capable of producing and enjoying sermons like these, so free
from the solemn and the sanctimonious, would be likely to wield the
humorous pencil also. Turning to the illustrated work of M. Aimé
Humbert, we find that the foibles of human nature are satirized by the
Japanese draughtsmen in caricatures, of which M. Humbert gives several
specimens. These, however, are not executed with the clearness and
precision which alone could render them effective in our eyes; and a
very large proportion of them employ that most ancient and well-worn
device of investing animals with the faculties of human beings. The best
is one representing rats performing all the labors of a rice warehouse.
Rats, as M. Humbert remarks, are in Japan the most dreaded and
determined thieves of the precious rice. The picture contains every
feature of the scene--the cashier making his calculations with his bead
calculator; the salesman turning over his books in order to show his
customers how impossible it is for him to abate a single cash in the
price; the shop-men carrying the bales; coolies bearing the straw bags
of money at the end of bamboos; porters tugging away at a sack just
added to the stock; and a new customer saluting the merchant. The
Japanese do not confine themselves to this kind of burlesque. They take
pleasure in representing a physician examining with exaggerated gravity
a patient's tongue, or peering into ailing eyes through enormous
spectacles, while he lifts with extreme caution the corner of the
eyelid. A quack shampooing a victim is another of their subjects. One
picture represents a band of blind shampooers on their travels, who, in
the midst of a ford, are disputing what direction they shall take when
they reach the opposite bank. Begging friars, mishaps of fishermen,
blind men leading the blind, jealous women, household dissensions, women
excessively dressed, furnish opportunities for the satirical pencil of
the Japanese artists, who also publish series of comic pictures, as we
do, upon such subjects as "Little Troubles in the Great World," "The Fat
Man's Household," "The Thin Man's Household." If these efforts of the
Japanese caricaturists do not often possess much power to amuse the
outside world, they have one qualification that entitles them to
respect--most of them are good-tempered.



It is inevitable that bad rulers should dread the satiric pencil.
Caricature, powerless against an administration that is honest and
competent, powerless against a public man who does his duty in his
place, is nevertheless a most effective device against arrogance,
double-dealing, corruption, cowardice, and iniquity. England, as the
French themselves admit, is the native home of political caricature; but
not an instance can be named in all its history of caricature injuring a
good man or defeating a good measure. A free pencil, too, becomes ever a
gayer and a kinder pencil. The measure of freedom which France has
occasionally enjoyed during the last ninety years has never lasted long
enough to wear off the keen point of the satirist's ridicule; and
collectors can tell, by the number and severity of the pictures in a
port-folio, just how much freedom Frenchmen possessed when they were
produced. It is curious, also, to note that caricatures on the wrong
side of great public questions are never excellent. It is doubtful if a
bad man with the wealth of an empire at his command could procure the
execution of one first-rate caricature hostile to the public good. A
despot can never fight this fire with fire, and has no resource but to
stamp it out.

Vainly, therefore, will the most vigilant collector search for _French_
caricatures of Napoleon Bonaparte published during his reign. His
government was a despotism _not_ tempered by epigrams, and it was
controlled by a despot who, though not devoid of a sense of humor, had
all a Corsican's mortal hatred of ridicule. No man in France was less
French than Napoleon, either in lineage or in character. His moral
position in Paris was not unlike that which Othello might have held in
Venice, if Othello had been base enough to betray and expel the senate
which he had sworn to serve. We can imagine how the shy, proud Moor
would have writhed under the pasquinades of the graceful, dissolute
Venetian wits whom he despised. So Napoleon, who never ceased to have
much in him of the semi-barbarian chief (and always looked like one when
he was dressed in imperial robes), shrunk with morbid apprehension from
the tongue of Madame De Staël, and wrote autograph notes to Fouché
calling his attention to the placards and verses of the street-corners.
There is something more than ludicrous in the spectacle of this rude
soldier, with a million armed men under his command, and half Europe at
his feet, sitting down in rage and affright to order Fouché to send a
little woman over the frontiers lest she should say something about him
for the drawing-rooms of Paris to laugh at.

[Illustration: Talleyrand--the Man with Six Heads. (Paris, 1817.)]

In place of caricature, therefore, we have only allegorical "glory" in
the fugitive pictures of his reign, few of which are worthy of

English Gillray, on the other side of the Channel, made most ample
amends. Modern caricature has not often equaled some of the best of
Gillray's upon Napoleon. In 1806, when the conqueror had finally lost
his head, dazzled and bewildered by his own victories, and was setting
up new kingdoms with a facility which began to be amusing, Gillray
produced his masterpiece of the "Great French Gingerbread Baker drawing
out a New Batch of Kings." It is full of happy detail. Besides the
central figure of Bonaparte himself drawing from the "New French Oven" a
fresh batch of monarchs, we see Bishop Talleyrand kneading in the
"Political Kneading-trough," into which Poland, Hanover, and Prussia
have just been thrown. There is also the "Ash-hole for Broken
Gingerbread," into which Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and broad-backed
Holland have been swept. On a chest of drawers stand a number of "Dough
Viceroys intended for the Next Batch," and the drawers are labeled
"Kings and Queens," "Crowns and Sceptres," "Suns and Moons." Gillray
burlesqued almost all the history of the gingerbread colossus from the
Egyptian expedition onward, but he never surpassed the gayety and
aptness of this picture, which was all the more effective in English
eyes because gilt gingerbread made into figures of kings, queens,
crowns, anchors, and princes' feathers, is a familiar object at English

Napoleon himself may have laughed at it. We know that at St. Helena he
applauded English caricatures of a similar character, notably one which
represented George III. as a corpulent old man standing on the English
coast, hurling in fury a huge beet at the head of Napoleon on the other
side of the Channel, and saying to him, "Go and make yourself some
sugar!"[35] We know also that while he relished the satirical pictures
aimed at his enemies and rivals, he was very far from enjoying those
which reflected disagreeably upon himself. "If caricatures," said he one
day at St. Helena, "sometimes avenge misfortune, they form a continual
annoyance to power; and how many have been made upon me! I think I have
had my share of them."

[Footnote 35: "Napoleon at St. Helena," p. 90, by John S. C. Abbott, New
York, Harper & Brothers.]

[Illustration: A Great Man's Last Leap--Napoleon going on Board the
English Frigate, assisted by the Faithful Bertrand. (Paris, 1815.)]

Even he did not care for caricature when he was right. If it can be said
that Napoleon Bonaparte conferred upon France one lasting good, it was
beet-root sugar; but the satire aimed at that useful article does not
appear to have offended him. In a newspaper of June, 1812, we read: "A
caricature has been executed at Paris, in which the emperor and the King
of Rome are the most prominent characters. The emperor is represented as
sitting at the table in the nursery with a cup of coffee before him,
into which he is squeezing beet-root. Near to him is seated the young
King of Rome, voraciously sucking the beet-root. The nurse, who is
steadfastly observing him, is made to say, '_Suck, dear_, suck; your
father _says_ it is sugar.'" He did not care, probably, for that. It
would have been far otherwise if a draughtsman had touched upon his mad
invasion of Russia.

It was not until his power was gone that French satirists tried their
pencils upon him, and then with no great success. With the downfall of
Napoleon was involved the prostration of France. Humiliation followed
humiliation. The spirit of Frenchmen was broken, and their resources
were exhausted. In the presence of such events as the Russian
catastrophe, the march of the allies upon Paris, Napoleon's banishment
to Elba, the Hundred Days, Waterloo, the encampment of foreign armies in
the public places of Paris, the flight of the emperor, and his final
exile, the satirist was superseded, and burlesque itself was outdone by
reality. When at last Paris was restored to herself, and peace again
gave play to the human mind, Napoleon was covered with the majesty of
what seemed a sublime misfortune. That peerless histrionic genius took
the precaution in critical moments to let the world know what character
he was enacting, and accordingly, when he stepped on board the English
man-of-war, he announced himself to mankind as Themistocles
magnanimously seeking an asylum at the hands of the most powerful of his

The good ruler is he who leaves to his successor, if not an easy task,
yet one not too difficult for respectable talents. Napoleon solved none
of the menacing problems. He threw no light upon the difficulties with
which the modern world finds itself face to face. Every year that he
reigned he only heaped up perplexity for his successors, until the
mountain mass transcended all human ability, and entailed upon Frenchmen
that tumultuous apprenticeship in self-government which is yet far from

[Illustration: Talleyrand.]

The first effort of the caricaturists in Paris after the Restoration was
simply to place the figure of a weather-cock after the names of public
men who had shown particular alacrity in changing their politics with
the changing dynasties. This was soon improved upon by putting
weather-cocks enough to denote the precise number of times a personage
had veered. Thus Talleyrand, who from being a bishop and a nobleman had
become a republican, then a minister under Napoleon, and at last a
supporter and servant of the Restoration, besides exhibiting various
minor changes, was complimented with as many weather-cocks as the fancy
of each writer suggested.

Six appears to have been the favorite number. We find in a previous
picture that he is represented as the man with six heads. The public men
signalized by this simple device were said to belong to the Order of the
Weather-cock; and it was the interest of the reactionists, who urged on
the trial and execution of Ney and his comrades, to cover them with
odium. To this day much of that odium clings to the name of Talleyrand.
A man who keeps a cool head in the midst of madmen is indeed a most
offensive person, and Talleyrand committed this enormity more than once
in his life. So far as we can yet discern, the only "treason" he ever
practiced toward the governments with which he was connected consisted
in giving them better advice than they were capable of acting upon. The
few words which he uttered on leaving the council-chamber, after vainly
advising Marie Louise to remain in her husband's abode and maintain the
moral dignity of his administration, show how well he understood the
collapse of the "empire" and its cause: "It is difficult to comprehend
such weakness in such a man as the emperor. What a fall is his! _To
give his name to a series of adventures, instead of bestowing it upon
his century!_ When I think of that, I can not help groaning." Then he
added the words which gave him his high place in the Order of the
Weather-cock: "But now what part to take? It does not suit every body to
let himself be overwhelmed in the ruins of this edifice." Particularly
it did not suit M. de Talleyrand, and he was not overwhelmed,
accordingly. Considering the manner in which France was governed during
his career, he might well say, "I have not betrayed governments:
governments have betrayed me."

It is mentioned by M. Champfleury as a thing unprecedented that this
weather-cock device did not wholly lose its power to amuse the Parisians
for two years. The portly person and ancient court of the king, Louis
XVIII., called forth many caricatures at a later period. This king was
as good-natured, as well-intentioned, as honorable a Bourbon as could
have been found in either hemisphere. It was not he who enriched all
languages by the gift of his family name. It was not his obstinate
adherence to ancient folly which caused it to be said that the Bourbons
had forgotten nothing and learned nothing. Born as long before his
accession as 1755, he was an accomplished and popular prince of mature
age during the American Revolution and the intellectual ferment which
followed it in France. A respectable scholar (for a prince), well versed
in literature (for a prince), a good judge of art (for a prince), of
liberal politics (for a prince), and not so hopelessly ignorant of state
affairs as kings and princes usually were, he watched the progress of
the Revolution with some intelligence and, at first, with some sympathy.
Both then and in 1815 he appears to have been intelligently willing to
accept a constitution that should have left his family on the throne by
right divine.

Right divine was his religion, to which he sacrificed much, and,
unquestionably, would have sacrificed his life. When he was living in
exile upon the bounty of the Emperor of Russia, he said to his nephew,
on the wedding-day of that young Bourbon: "If the crown of France were
of roses, I would give it to you. It is of thorns; I keep it." And,
indeed, a turn in politics expelled him soon after, in the middle of
winter, from his abode, and made him again a dependent wanderer. In
1803, too, when there could be descried no ray of hope of the
restoration of the old dynasty, and Napoleon, apparently lord of the
world, offered him a principality in landed wealth if he would but
formally renounce the throne, he replied in a manner which a believer in
divine right might think sublime:

"I do not confound M. Bonaparte with those who have preceded him. His
valor, his military talents, I esteem; and I am even grateful to him for
several measures of his administration, since good done to my people
will ever be dear to my heart. But if he thinks to engage me to
compromise my rights, he deceives himself. On the contrary, by the very
offer he now makes me he would establish them if they could be thought
of as doubtful. I do not know what are the designs of God with regard to
my house and myself, but I know the obligations imposed upon me by the
rank in which it was his pleasure to cause me to be born. A Christian, I
shall fulfill those obligations even to my latest breath; a son of St.
Louis, I shall know, taught by his example, how even in chains to
respect myself; a successor of Francis I., I desire at least to be able
to say, like him, 'All is lost but honor!'"

Again, in 1814, when the Emperor Alexander of Russia urged him to
concede so much to the popular feeling as to call himself King of the
_French_, and to omit from his style the words "_par la grâce de Dieu_"
he answered: "Divine right is at once a consequence of religious dogma
and the law of the country. By that law for eight centuries the monarchy
has been hereditary in my family. Without divine right I am but an
infirm old man, long an exile from my country, and reduced to beg an
asylum. But by that right, the exile is King of France."

[Illustration: De la Villevielle, Cambacérès, D'Aigre Feuille--A
Promenade in the Palais Royal. (Paris, 1818.)]

He wrote and said these "neat things" himself, not by a secretary. Among
his happy sayings two have remained in the memory of Frenchmen:
"Punctuality is the politeness of kings," and "Every French soldier
carries a marshal's baton in his knapsack." He was, in short, a genial,
witty, polite old gentleman, willing to govern France constitutionally,
disposed to forget and forgive, and be the good king of the whole
people. But he was sixty years of age, fond of his ease, and extremely
desirous, as he often said, of dying in his own bed. He was surrounded
by elderly persons who were bigoted to a Past which could not be
resuscitated; and his brother, heir presumptive to the throne, was that
fatal Comte d'Artois (Charles X.) who aggravated the violence of the
Revolution of 1789, and precipitated that of 1830, by his total
incapacity to comprehend either. Gradually the gloomy party of reaction
and revenge who surrounded the heir presumptive gained the ascendency,
and the good-natured old king could only restrain its extravagance
enough to accomplish his desire of dying in his own house. Sincerely
religious, he was no bigot; and it was not by his wish that the court
assumed more and more the sombre aspect of a Jesuit seminary. It is
doubtful if there would have been one exception to the amnesty of
political offenses if Louis XVIII. had been as firm as he was kind. The
reader sees a proof of his good-nature in the picture on the preceding
page of Prince Cambacérès, who was Second Consul when Napoleon was First
Consul, and Arch-chancellor under the Empire, peacefully walking in the
streets of Paris with two of his friends. This caricature has a value in
preserving an excellent portrait of a personage noted for twenty years
in the history of France.

[Illustration: Family of the Extinguishers--Caricature of the
Restoration. (Paris, 1819.)]

To the Order of the Weather-cock succeeded, in 1819, when priestly
ascendency at court was but too manifest, the Family of the
Extinguishers. In the picture given below, the reader has the pleasure
of viewing some of the family portraits, and in another he sees members
of the family at work, rekindling the fire and extinguishing the lights.
The fire was to consume the charter of French liberty and the records of
science; the lights are the men to whom France felt herself indebted for
liberty and knowledge--Buffon, Franklin, D'Alembert, Montesquieu,
Voltaire, Montaigne, Fénélon, Condorcet, and their friends. Above is the
personified Church, with sword uplifted, menacing mankind with new St.
Bartholomews and Sicilian Vespers. Underneath this elaborate and
ingenious work was the refrain of Béranger's song of 1819, entitled "Les
Missionnaires," which was almost enough of itself to expel the Bourbons:

  "Vite soufflons, soufflons, morbleu!
      Éteignons les lumières
      Et rallumons le feu."

The historian of that period will not omit to examine the songs which
the incomparable Béranger wrote during the reign of the two kings of the
Restoration. "Le peuple, c'est ma Muse," the poet wrote many years
after, when reviewing this period. The people were his Muse. He studied
the people, he adds, "with religious care," and always found their
deepest convictions in harmony with his own. He had been completely
fascinated by the "genius of Napoleon," never suspecting that it was
Napoleon's lamentable _want_ of ability which had devolved upon the
respectable Louis XVIII. an impossible task. But he perceived that the
task _was_ impossible. There were two impossibilities, he thought, in
the way of a stable government. It was impossible for the Bourbons,
while they remained Bourbons, to govern France, and it was impossible
for France to make them any thing but Bourbons. Hence, in lending his
exquisite gift to the popular cause, he had no scruples and no reserves;
and he freely poured forth those wonderful songs which became
immediately part and parcel of the familiar speech of his countrymen.
Alas for a Bourbon when there is a Béranger loose in his capital!
Charles X. attempted the Bourbon policy of repression, and had the poet
twice imprisoned. But he could not imprison his songs, nor prevent his
writing new ones in prison, which sung themselves over France in a week.
Caricature, too, was severely repressed--the usual precursor of collapse
in a French government.

[Illustration: The Jesuits at Court. (Paris, 1819.)

"Quick! Blow! blow! Let us put out the lights and rekindle the fires!"]

The end of the Restoration, in 1830, occurred with a sudden and
spontaneous facility, which showed, among other things, how effectively
Béranger had sung from his garret and his prison. The old king in 1824
had his wish of dying in his own bed, and is said to have told his
successor, with his dying breath, that he owed this privilege to the
policy of tacking ship rather than allowing a contrary wind to drive her
upon the rocks. He advised "Monsieur" to pursue the same "tacking
policy." But Monsieur was Comte d'Artois, that entire and perfect
Bourbon, crusted by his sixty-seven years, a willing victim in the hands
of Jesuit priests. In six years the ship of state was evidently driving
full upon the rocks; but, instead of tacking, he put on all sail, and
let her drive. At a moment when France was in the last extremity of
alarm for the portion of liberty which her constitution secured her,
this unhappy king signed a decree which put the press under the control
of the Minister of Police, and the rest of the people of France under
Marshal Marmont. Twenty-one days after, August 16th, 1830, the king and
his suite were received on board of two American vessels, the _Charles
Carroll_ and the _Great Britain_, by which they were conveyed from
Cherbourg to Portsmouth. "This," said the king to his first English
visitors, "is the reward of my efforts to render France happy. I wished
to make one last attempt to restore order and tranquillity. The factions
have overturned me." The old gentleman resumed his daily mass, and found
much consolation for the loss of a crown in the slaughter of beasts and
birds. Louis Philippe was King of the _French_, by the grace of
Lafayette and the acquiescence of a majority of the French people.

Caricature, almost interdicted during the last years of the Restoration,
pursued the fugitive king and his family with avenging ridicule.
Gavarni, then an unknown artist of twenty-six, employed by Émile de
Girardin to draw the fashion plates of his new periodical, _La Mode_,
gave Paris, in those wild July days of 1830, the only political
caricatures he ever published. One represented the king as an
old-clothes man, bawling, "Old coats! old lace!" In another he appeared
astride of a lance, in full flight, in a costume composed of a priest's
black robe and the glittering uniform of a general; white bands at his
neck, the broad red ribbon of the Legion of Honor across his breast, one
arm loaded with mitres, relics, and chaplets, with the scissors of the
censer on the thumb, on the other side the end of a sabre, and the
meagre legs encompassed by a pair of huge jack-boots. Another picture,
called the "Lost Balloon," exhibited the king in the car of a balloon,
with the same preposterous boots hanging down, along with the Duc
d'Angoulême clinging to the sides, and the duchess crushing the king by
her weight. The royal banner, white, and sown with fleurs-de-lis,
streamed out behind as the balloon disappeared in the clouds.

These were the only political caricatures ever published by the man whom
Frenchmen regard as the greatest of their recent satirical artists. He
cared nothing for politics, and had the usual attachment of artists and
poets to the Established Order. Having aimed these light shafts at the
flying king in mere gayety of heart, because every one else was doing
the same, he soon remembered that the king was an old man, past
seventy-three, as old as his own father, and flying in alarm from his
home and country. He was conscience-stricken. Reading aloud one day a
poem in which allusion was made to a white-haired old man going into
exile with slow, reluctant steps, his voice broke, and he could scarcely
utter the lines:

  "Pas d'outrage au vieillard qui s'exile à pas lents.
   C'est une piété d'épargner les ruines.
   Je n'enfoncerai pas la couronne d'épines
   Que la main du malheur met sur ses cheveux blancs."

As he spoke these words the image of his old father rose vividly before
his mind, and he could read no more. "I felt," said he, "as if I had
been struck in the face;" and ever after he held political caricature in

This feeling is one with which the reader will often find himself
sympathizing while examining some of the heartless and thoughtless
pictures which exasperated the elderly paterfamilias who was now called
to preside over demoralized France. Louis Philippe was another
good-natured Louis XVIII., _minus_ divine right, _plus_ a large family.
With all the domestic virtues, somewhat too anxious to push his children
on in the world, a good citizen, a good patriot, an unostentatious
gentleman, he was totally destitute of those picturesque and captivating
qualities which adventurers and banditti often possess, but which wise
and trustworthy men seldom do. In looking back now upon that eighteen
years' struggle between this respectable father of a family and anarchy,
it seems as if France should have rallied more loyally and more
considerately round him, and given him too the privilege, so dear to
elderly gentlemen, of dying in his own bed. One-tenth of his virtue and
one-half his intellect had sufficed under the old _régime_.

But since that lamentable and fatal day when the priests wrought upon
Louis XIV. to decree the expulsion of the Huguenots, who were the
_élite_ of his kingdom, France had been undergoing a course of political
demoralization, which had made a constitutional government of the
country almost impossible. Recent events had exaggerated the criminal
class. Twenty years of intoxicating victory had made all moderate
success, all gradual prosperity, seem tame and flat; and the reduction
of the army had set afloat great numbers of people indisposed to
peaceful industry. Under the Restoration, we may almost say, political
conspiracy had become a recognized profession. The new king, pledged to
make the freedom of the press "a reality," soon found himself face to
face with difficulties which Bourbons had invariably met by mere
repression. Republicans and Legitimists were equally dissatisfied.
Legitimists could only wait and plot; but Republicans could write,
speak, and draw. A considerable proportion of the young, irresponsible,
and adventurous talent was republican, and there was a great deal of
Bohemian character available for that side. It was a time when a Louis
Napoleon could belong to a democratic club.

Caricature speedily marked the "citizen king" for her own. Napoleon had
employed all his subtlest tact during the last ten years of his reign in
keeping alive in French minds the base feudal feeling, so congenial to
human indolence and vanity, that it is nobler to be a soldier than to
rear a family and keep a shop. In his bulletins we find this false
sentiment adroitly insinuated in a hundred ways. He loved to stigmatize
the English as a nation of shop-keepers. He displayed infinite art in
exalting the qualities which render men willing to destroy one another
without asking why, and in casting contempt on the arts and virtues by
which the waste of war is repaired. The homely habits, the plain dress,
the methodical ways, of Louis Philippe were, therefore, easily made to
seem ridiculous. He was styled the first _bourgeois_ of his kingdom--as
he was--but the French people had been taught to regard the word as a
term of contempt.

Unfortunately he abandoned the policy of letting the caricaturists
alone. Several French rulers have adopted the principle of not regarding
satire, but not one has had the courage to adhere to it long. Sooner or
later all the world will come into the "American system," and all the
world will at length discover the utter impotence of the keenest
ridicule and the most persistent abuse against public men who do right
and let their assailants alone. The chief harm done by the abuse of
public men in free countries is in making it too difficult to expose
their real faults. How would it be possible, for example, to make the
people of the United States believe ill of a President in vilifying whom
ingenious men and powerful journals had exhausted themselves daily for
years? Nothing short of _testimony_, abundant and indisputable, such as
would convince an honest jury, could procure serious attention. From
President Washington to President Grant the history of American politics
is one continuous proof of Mr. Jefferson's remark, that "an
administration which has nothing to conceal has nothing to fear from the

[Illustration: Charles Philipon.]

When Louis Philippe had been a year upon the throne appeared the first
number of _Le Charivari_, a daily paper of four small pages, conducted
by an unknown, inferior artist--Charles Philipon. Around him gathered a
number of Bohemian draughtsmen and writers, not one of whom appears then
to have shared in the social or political life of the country, or to
have had the faintest conception of the consideration due to a
fellow-citizen in a place of such extreme difficulty as the head of a
government. They assailed the king, his person, his policy, his family,
his habits, his history, with thoughtless and merciless ridicule. A
periodical which has undertaken to supply a cloyed, fastidious public
with three hundred and sixty-five ludicrous pictures per annum must
often be in desperation for subjects, and there was no resource to
Philipon so obvious or so sure as the helpless family imprisoned in the
splendors and etiquette of royalty. Unfortunately for modern
governments, the people of Europe were for so many centuries preyed upon
and oppressed by kings that vast numbers of people, even in free
countries, still regard the head of a government as a kind of natural
enemy, to assail whom is among the rights of a citizen. And, moreover,
the king, the president, the minister, is unseen by those who hurl the
barbed and poisoned javelin. They do not see him shrink and writhe. To
many an anonymous coward it is a potent consideration, also, that the
head of a constitutional government can not usually strike back.

Mr. Thackeray, who was but nineteen when Louis Philippe came to the
throne, witnessed much of the famous contest between this knot of
caricaturists and the King of the French; and in one of the first
articles which he wrote for subsistence, after his father's failure, he
gave the world some account of it.[36] At a later period of his life he
would probably not have regarded the king as the stronger party. He
would probably not have described the contest as one between "half a
dozen poor artists on the one side, and His Majesty Louis Philippe, his
august family, and the numberless placemen and supporters of the
monarchy, on the other." Half a dozen poor artists, with an unscrupulous
publisher at their head, who gives them daily access to the eye and ear
of a great capital, can array against the object of their satire and
abuse the entire unthinking crowd of that capital. A firm, enlightened,
and competent king would have united against these a majority of the
responsible and the reflecting. Such a king would truly have been, as
Mr. Thackeray observed, "an Ajax girded at by a Thersites." But Louis
Philippe was no Ajax. He was no hero at all. He had no splendid and no
commanding traits. He was merely an overfond father and well-disposed
citizen of average talents. He was merely the kind of man which free
communities can ordinarily get to serve them, and who will serve them
passably well if the task be not made needlessly difficult. Hence
Philipon and his "half a dozen poor artists" were very much the stronger
party--a fact which the king, in the sight and hearing of all France,
confessed and proclaimed by putting them in prison.

[Footnote 36: In the _London and Westminster Review_ for April, 1839,
Article II.]

It was those prosecutions of Philipon that were fatal to the king.
Besides adding emphasis, celebrity, and weight to the sallies of _Le
Charivari_, they presaged the abandonment of the central principle of
the movement that made him king--the freedom of utterance. The scenes in
court when Philipon, or his artist, Daumier, was arraigned, were most
damaging to the king's dignity. One, incorrectly related by Thackeray,
may well serve to warn future potentates that of all conceivable
expedients for the caricaturist's frustration, the one surest to fail is
to summon him to a court of justice.

A favorite device of M. Philipon was to draw the king's face in the form
of a huge pear, which it did somewhat resemble. Amateur draughtsmen also
chalked the royal pear upon the walls of Paris; and the exaggerated
pears with the king's features roughly outlined which everywhere met the
eye excited the mocking laughter of the idle Parisian. No jest could
have been so harmless if it had been unnoticed by the person at whom it
was aimed, or noticed only with a smile. But the Government stooped to
the imbecility of arraigning the author of the device. The _poire_
actually became an object of prosecution, and the editor of _Le
Charivari_ was summoned before a jury on a charge of inciting to
contempt against the person of the king by giving his face a ludicrous
resemblance to one of the fruits of the earth. Philipon, when he rose to
defend himself, exhibited to the jury a series of four sketches, upon
which he commented. The first was a portrait of the king devoid of
exaggeration or burlesque. "This sketch," said the draughtsman,
"resembles Louis Philippe. Do you condemn it?" He then held up the
second picture, which was also a very good portrait of the king; but in
this one the toupet and the side-whiskers began to "flow together," as
M. Champfleury has it (_s'onduler_), and the whole to assume a distant
resemblance to the outline of a pear. "If you condemn the first sketch,"
said the imperturbable Philipon, "you must condemn this one which
resembles it." He next showed a picture in which the pear was plainly
manifest, though it bore an unmistakable likeness to the king. Finally,
he held up to the court a figure of a large Burgundy pear, pure and
simple, saying, "If you are consistent, gentlemen, you can not acquit
this sketch either, for it certainly resembles the other three."

Mr. Thackeray was mistaken in supposing that this impudent defense
carried conviction to the minds of the jury. Philipon was condemned and
fined. He avenged himself by arranging the court and jury upon a page of
_Le Charivari_ in the form of a pear.[37] He and his artists played upon
this theme hundreds of variations, until the Government found matter for
a prosecution even in a picture of a monkey stealing a pear. The pear
became at last too expensive a luxury for the conductor of _Le
Charivari_, and that fruit was "exiled from the empire of caricature."

[Footnote 37: "Histoire de la Caricature Moderne," p. 100, par

Before Louis Philippe had been three years upon the throne there was an
end of all but the pretense of maintaining the freedom of press or
pencil. "The Press," as Mr. Thackeray remarks, "was sent to prison; and
as for poor dear Caricature, it was fairly murdered." In _Le Charivari_
for August 30th, 1832, we read that Jean-Baptiste Daumier, for an
equally harmless caricature of the king, was arrested in the very
presence of his father and mother, of whom he was the sole support, and
condemned to six months' imprisonment. It was Daumier, however, as M.
Champfleury reveals, who had "served up the pear with the greatest
variety of sauces." It was the same Daumier who after his release
assailed the advocates and legal system of his country with ceaseless
burlesque, and made many a covert lunge at the personage who moved them
to the fatal absurdity of imprisoning him.

Driven by violence from the political field, to which it has been
permitted to return only at long intervals and for short periods, French
caricature has ranged over the scene of human foibles, and attained a
varied development. Daumier and Philipon conjointly produced a series of
sketches in _Le Charivari_ which had signal and lasting success with the
public. The play of "Robert Macaire," after running awhile, was
suppressed by the Government, the actor of the principal part having
used it as a vehicle of political burlesque. _Le Charivari_ seized the
idea of satirizing the follies of the day by means of two characters of
the drama--Macaire, a cool, adroit, audacious villain, and Bertrand, his
comrade, stupid, servile, and timid.

[Illustration: Robert Macaire fishing for Share-holders. (Daumier,

Philipon supplying the words and Daumier executing the pictures, they
made Macaire undertake every scheme, practice, and profession which
contained the requisite ingredients of the comic and the rascally. The
series extended beyond ninety sketches. Macaire founds a joint-stock
charity--_la morale en action_, he explains to gaping Bertrand, each
_action_ (share) being placed at two hundred and fifty francs. He
becomes a quack-doctor. "Don't trifle with your complaint," he says to a
patient, as he gives him two bottles of medicine. "Come to see me often;
it won't ruin you, for I make no charge for consultations. You owe me
twenty francs for the two bottles." The patient appearing to be startled
at the magnitude of this sum, Dr. Macaire blandly says, as he bows him
out, "We give two cents for returned bottles." He becomes a private
detective. A lady consults him in his office. "Sir," she says, "I have
had a thousand-franc note stolen." "Precisely, madame. Consider the
business done: the thief is a friend of mine." "But," says the lady,
"can I get my note back, and find out who took it?" "Nothing easier.
Give me fifteen hundred francs for my expenses, and to-morrow the thief
will return the note and send you his card."

Every resource being exhausted, Macaire astounds the despairing Bertrand
by saying, "Come, the time for mundane things is past; let us attend
now to eternal interests. Suppose we found a religion?" "A religion!"
cries Bertrand; "that is not so easy." To this Macaire replies by
alluding to the recent proceedings of a certain Abbé Châtel, in Paris.
"One makes a pontiff of himself, hires a shop, borrows some chairs,
preaches sermons upon the death of Napoleon, upon Voltaire, upon the
discovery of America, upon any thing, no matter what. There's a religion
for you; it's no more difficult than that." On one occasion Macaire
himself is a little troubled in mind, and Bertrand remarks the unusual
circumstance. "You seem anxious," says Bertrand. "Yes," replies Macaire,
"I _am_ in bad humor. Those scoundrels of bond-holders have bothered me
to such a point that I have actually paid them a dividend!" "What!"
exclaims Bertrand, aghast, "a _bona-fide_ dividend?" "Yes, positively."
"What are you going to do about it?" "I am going to get it back again."

The reader will, of course, infer that each of these pictures was a hit
at some scoundrelly exploit of the day, the public knowledge of which
gave effect to the caricature. In many instances the event is forgotten,
but the picture retains a portion of its interest. One of Macaire's
professions was that of cramming students for their bachelor's degree. A
student enters. "There are two ways in which we can put you through,"
says Macaire: "one, to make you pass your examination by a substitute;
the other, to enable you to pass it yourself." "I prefer to pass it
myself," says the young man. "Very well. Do you know Greek?" "No."
"Latin?" "No." "All right. You know mathematics?" "Not the least in the
world." "What do you know, then?" "Nothing at all." "But you have two
hundred francs?" "Certainly." "Just the thing! You will get your degree
next Thursday." We may find comfort in this series, for we learn from it
that in every infamy which we now deplore among ourselves we were
anticipated by the French forty years ago. Macaire even goes into the
mining business, at least so far as to sell shares. "We have made our
million," says the melancholy Bertrand; "but we have engaged to produce
gold, and we find nothing but sand." "No matter; utilize your capital;
haven't you got a gold mine?" "Yes--but afterward?" "Afterward you will
simply say to the share-holders, 'I was mistaken; we must try again.'
You will then form a company for the utilization of the sand." Bertrand,
still anxious, ventures to remark that there _are_ such people as
policemen in the country. "Policemen!" cries Macaire, gayly. "So much
the better: they will take shares." One of his circular letters was a

     "SIR,--I regret to say that your application for shares in the
     Consolidated European Incombustible Blacking Association can not
     be complied with, as all the shares of the C. E. I. B. A. were
     disposed of on the day they were issued. I have nevertheless
     registered your name, and in case a second series should be put
     forth I shall have the honor of immediately giving you notice.

     "I am, sir, etc.
                                            ROBERT MACAIRE, Director."

"Print three hundred thousand of these," says the director, "and poison
all France with them." "But," says Bertrand, "we haven't sold a single
share; you haven't a sou in your pocket, and--" "Bertrand, you are an
ass. Do as I tell you."

[Illustration: A Husband's Dilemma.

"Yes; but if you quarrel like that with all your wife's lovers, you will
never have any friends."--From _Paris Nonsensicalities_ (_Baliverneries
Parisiennes_), by Gavarni.]

Thus, week after week, for many a month, did _Le Charivari_ "utilize"
these impossible characters to expose and satirize the plausible
scoundrelism of the period. Mr. Thackeray, who ought to be an excellent
authority on any point of satirical art, praises highly the execution of
these pictures by M. Daumier. They seem carelessly done, he remarks; but
it is the careless grace of the consummate artist. He recommends the
illustrator of "Pickwick" to study Daumier. When we remember that
Thackeray had offered to illustrate "Pickwick," his comments upon the
artist who was preferred to himself have a certain interest: "If we
might venture to give a word of advice to another humorous designer
[Hablot K. Browne], whose works are extensively circulated, the
illustrator of 'Pickwick' and 'Nicholas Nickleby,' it would be to study
well those caricatures of M. Daumier, who, though he executes very
carelessly, knows very well what he would express, indicates perfectly
the attitude and identity of the figure, and is quite aware beforehand
of the effect he intends to produce. The one we should fancy to be a
practiced artist taking his ease, the other a young one somewhat
bewildered--a very clever one, however, who, if he would think more and
exaggerate less, would add not a little to his reputation." Possessors
of the early editions of "Pickwick" will be tempted to think that in
this criticism of Mr. Browne's performances by a disappointed rival
there was an ingredient of wounded self-love. The young author, however,
in another passage, gave presage of the coming Thackeray. He observes
that in France ladies in difficulties who write begging letters, or live
by other forms of polite beggary, are wont to style themselves "widows
of the Grand Army." They all pretended to some connection with _le Grand
Homme_, and all their husbands were colonels. "This title," says the
wicked Thackeray, "answers exactly to the clergyman's daughter in
England;" and he adds, "The difference is curious as indicating the
standard of respectability."

[Illustration: Housekeeping.

"Gracious, Dorothy, I have forgotten the meat for your cat!"

"Have you, indeed? But you didn't forget the biscuit for your bird,
egotist! No matter! No matter! If there is nothing in the house for my
cat, I shall give her your bird, I shall!"--From _Impressions de
Ménage_, by Gavarni.]

Many caricaturists who afterward attained celebrity were early
contributors to M. Philipon's much-prosecuted periodical. Among them was
"the elegant Gavarni," who for thirty years was the favorite comic
artist of Paris _roués_ and dandies--himself a _roué_ and dandy. At this
period, according to his friend, Théophile Gautier, he was a very
handsome young man, with luxuriant blonde curls, always fashionably
attired, somewhat in the English taste, neat, quiet, and precise, and
"possessing in a high degree the feeling for modern elegances." He was
of a slender form, which seemed laced in, and he had the air of being
carefully dressed and thoroughly appointed, his feet being effeminately
small and daintily clad. In short, he was a dandy of the D'Orsay and N.
P. Willis period. For many years he expended the chief force of his
truly exquisite talent in investing vice with a charm which in real life
it never possesses. Loose women, who are, as a class, very stupid, very
vulgar, most greedy of gain and pleasure, and totally devoid of every
kind of interesting quality, he endowed with a grace and wit, a
fertility of resource, an airy elegance of demeanor, never found except
in honorable women reared in honorable homes. He was the great master of
that deadly school of French satiric art which finds all virtuous life
clumsy or ridiculous, and all abominable life graceful and pleasing.

Albums of this kind are extant in which married men are _invariably_
represented as objects of contemptuous pity, and no man is graceful or
interesting except the sneaking scoundrel who has designs upon the
integrity of a household. Open the "Musée pour Rire," for example. Here
is a little family of husband, wife, and year-old child in bed, just
awake in the morning, the wife caressing the child, and the husband
looking on with admiring fondness. This scene is rendered ridiculous by
the simple expedient of making the wife and child hideously ugly, and
the fond father half an idiot. Another picture shows the same child,
with a head consisting chiefly of mouth, yelling in the middle of the
night, while the parents look on, imbecile and helpless. Turn to the
sketches of the masked ball or the midnight carouse, and all is elegant,
becoming, and delightful. If the French caricatures of the last thirty
years do really represent French social life and French moral feeling,
we may safely predict that in another generation France will be a German
province; for men capable of maintaining the independence of a nation
can not be produced on the Gavarnian principles.

Marriage and civilization we might almost call synonymous terms.
Marriage was at least the greatest conquest made by primitive man over
himself, and the indispensable preliminary to a higher civilization. Nor
has any mode yet been discovered of rearing full-formed and efficient
men capable of self-control, patriotism, and high principle, except the
union of both parents striving for that end with cordial resolution
longer than an average life-time. It is upon this most sacred of all
institutions that the French caricaturists of the Gavarni school pour
ceaseless scorn and contempt. As I write these lines, my eyes fall upon
one of the last numbers of a comic sheet published in Paris, on the
first page of which there is a picture which illustrates this
propensity. A dissolute-looking woman, smoking a cigarette, is
conversing with a boy in buttons who has applied for a place in her
household. "How old are you?" she asks. "Eleven, madame." "And your
name?" "Joseph!" Upon this innocent reply the woman makes a comment
which is truly comic, but very Gavarnian: "So young, and already he
calls himself Joseph!"

[Illustration: A Poultice for Two--Sympathy and Economy.--From
_Impressions de Ménage_, by Gavarni.]

Among the heaps of albums to be found in a French collection we turn
with particular curiosity to those which satirize the child life of
France. Gavarni's celebrated series of "Enfants Terribles" has gone
round the world, and called forth child satire in many lands. The
presence of children in his pictures does not long divert this artist
from his ruling theme. One of his terrible children, a boy of four,
prattles innocently to his mother in this strain: "Nurse is going to get
up very early, now that you have come home, mamma. Goodness! while you
were in the country she always had her breakfast in bed, and it was papa
who took in the milk and lighted the fire. But wasn't the coffee jolly
sweet, though!" Another alarming boy of the same age, who is climbing up
his father's chair and wearing his father's hat, all so merry and
innocent, discourses thus to the petrified author of his being: "Who is
Mr. Albert? Oh, he is a gentleman belonging to the Jardin des Plantes,
who comes every day to explain the animals to mamma; a large man with
mustaches, whom you don't know. He didn't come to-day until after they
had shut up the monkeys. You ought to have seen how nicely mamma
entertained him. Oh dear!" (discovering a bald place on papa's pate)
"you have hardly any hair upon the top of your head, papa!" In a third
picture both parents are exhibited seated side by side upon a sofa, and
the terrible boy addresses his mother thus: "Mamma, isn't that little
mustache comb which Cornelia found in your bedroom this morning for me?"
Another sketch shows us father, mother, and terrible boy taking a walk
in the streets of Paris. A dandy, in the likeness of Gavarni himself,
goes by, with his cane in his mouth, and his face fixed so as to seem
not to see them. But the boy sees _him_, and bawls to his mother:
"Mamma! mamma! that Monsieur du Luxembourg!--you know him--the one you
said was such a great friend to papa--he has gone by without saluting! I
suppose the reason is, he don't know how to behave." Another picture
presents to view a little girl seated on a garden bench eating nuts, and
talking to a young man: "The rose which you gave to mamma?" "Yes, yes."
"The one you nearly broke your neck in getting? Let me see. Oh, my
cousin Nat stuck it in the tail of Matthew's donkey. How mamma did
laugh! Got any more nuts?" The same appalling girl imparts a family
secret to her tutor: "Mamma wrote to M. Prosper, and papa read the
letter. Oh, wasn't papa angry, though! And all because she had spelled a
word wrong." A mother hearing a little girl say the catechism is a
subject which one would suppose was not available for the purposes of a
Gavarni, but he finds even that suggestive. "Come, now, pay attention.
What must we do when we have sinned [_péché_]?" To which the terrible
child replies, playing unconsciously upon the word _péché_ (sinned),
which does not differ in sound from _pêché_ (fished), "When we have
_pêché_? Wait a moment. Oh! we go back to the White House with all the
fish in the basket, which my nurse eats with Landerneau. He is a big
soldier who has white marks upon his sleeve. And I eat _my_ share, let
me tell you!"

It is thus that the first caricaturist of France "utilized" the
innocence of childhood when Louis Philippe was King of the French.

[Illustration: Parisian "Shoo, Fly!"

"Captain, I am here to ask your permission to fight a duel."

"What for, and with whom?"

"With Saladin, the trumpeter, who has so far forgotten himself as to
call me a _moucheron_" (little fly).--From _Messieurs nos Fils et
Mesdemoiselles nos Filles_, by Randon, Paris.]

There is a later series by Randon, entitled "Messieurs nos Fils et
Mesdemoiselles nos Filles," which exhibits other varieties of French
childhood, some of which are inconceivable to persons not of the "Latin
race." It has been said that in America there are no longer any
children; but nowhere among us are there young human beings who could
suggest even the burlesque of precocity such as M. Randon presents to
us. We have no boys of ten who go privately to the hero of a billiard
"tournament" and request him with the politest gravity, cap in hand, to
"put him up to some points of the game for his exclusive use." We have
no boys of eight who stand with folded arms before a sobbing girl of
seven and address her in words like these: "Be reasonable, then, Amelia.
The devil! People can't be always loving one another." We have no
errand-boys of eight who offer their services to a young gentleman thus:
"For delivering a note on the sly, or getting a bouquet into the right
hands, monsieur can trust to me. I am used to little affairs of that
kind, and I am as silent as the tomb." We have no little boys in belt
and apron who say to a bearded veteran of half a dozen wars: "You don't
know your happiness. For my part, give me a beard as long as yours, and
not a woman in the world should resist me!" We have no little boys who
in the midst of a fight with fists, one having a black eye and the other
a bloody nose, would pause to say: "At least we don't fight for money,
like the English. It is for glory that _we_ fight." We have no little
boys who, on starting for a ride, wave aside the admonitions of the
groom by telling him that they know all about managing a horse, and what
they want of him is simply to tell them where in the _Bois_ they will be
likely to meet most "Amazons." No, nor in all the length and breadth of
English-speaking lands can there be found a small boy who, on being
lectured by his father, would place one hand upon his heart, and lift
the other on high, and say, "Papa, by all that I hold dearest, by my
honor, by your ashes, by any thing you like, I swear to change my
conduct!" All these things are so remote from our habits that the
wildest artist could not conceive of them as passable caricature.

[Illustration: Three! (From "Arithmetic Illustrated," by Cham.)]

The opprobrious words in use among French boys would not strike the boys
of New York or London as being very exasperating. M. Randon gives us an
imaginary conversation between a very small trumpeter in gorgeous
uniform and a _gamin_ of the street. Literally translated, it would read
thus: "Look out, little fly, or you will get yourself crushed." To which
the street boy replies, "Descend, then, species of toad: I will make you
see what a little fly is!" On the other hand, if we may believe M.
Randon, French boys of a very tender age consider themselves subject to
the code of honor, and hold themselves in readiness to accept a
challenge to mortal combat. A soldier of ten years appears in one of
this series with his arm in a sling, and he explains the circumstance to
his military comrade of the same age: "It's all a sham, my dear. I'll
tell you the reason in strict confidence: it is to make a certain person
of my acquaintance believe that I have fought for her." The boys of
France, it is evident, are nothing if not military. Most of the young
veterans _blasés_ exhibited in these albums are in uniform.

An interesting relic of those years when Frenchmen still enjoyed some
semblance of liberty to discuss subjects of national and European
concern is Gavarni's series of masterly sketches burlesquing the very
idea of private citizens taking an interest in public affairs. This is
accomplished by the device of giving to all the men who are talking
politics countenances of comic stupidity. An idiot in a blouse says to
an idiot in a coat, "Poland, don't you see, will never forgive your
ingratitude!" An idiot in a night-cap says to an idiot bare-headed, with
ludicrous intensity, "And when you have taken Lombardy, then what?"
Nothing can exceed the skill of the draughtsman of this series, except
the perversity of the man, to whom no human activity seemed becoming
unless its object was the lowest form of sensual pleasure. But the
talent which he displayed in this album was immense. It was, if I may
say so, _frightful_; for there is nothing in our modern life so alarming
as the power which reckless and dissolute talent has to make virtuous
life seem provincial and ridiculous, vicious life graceful and



[Illustration: Two Attitudes.

"With your air of romantic melancholy, you could succeed with some
women. For my part, I make my conquests with drums beating and matches
lighted."--From _Messieurs nos Fils et Mesdemoiselles nos Filles_, by
Randon, Paris.]

During the twenty years of Louis Napoleon, political caricature being
extinguished, France was inundated with diluted Gavarni. Any wretch who
drew or wrote for the penny almanacs, sweltering in his Mansard on a
franc a day, could produce a certain effect by representing the elegant
life of his country, of which he knew nothing, to be corrupt and
sensual. Pick up one of these precious works blindfold, open it at
random, and you will be almost certain to light upon some penny-a-line
calumny of French existence, with a suitable picture annexed. I have
just done so. The "Almanach Comique" for 1869, its twenty-eighth year,
lies open before me at the page devoted to the month of August. My eye
falls upon a picture of a loosely dressed woman gazing fondly upon a
large full purse suspended upon the end of a walking-stick, and
underneath are the words, "_Elle ne tarde pas à se réapprivoiser._" She
does not delay to _retame_ herself, the verb being the one applied to
wild beasts. There is even a subtle deviltry in the syllable _ré_,
implying that she has rebelled against her destiny, but is easily enough
brought to terms by a bribe. The reading matter for the month consists
of the following brief essay, entitled "August--the Virgin:" "How to go
for a month to the sea-shore during the worst of the dog-days. Hire a
chalet at Cabourg for madame, and a cottage on the beach of Trouville
for _mademoiselle_. The transit between those two places is
accomplished per omnibus in an hour. That is very convenient. Breakfast
with Mademoiselle; dine with Madame. This double existence is very
expensive, but _as it is the most common_, we are compelled to examine
it in order to establish a basis for the expenditures of the twelve
months." Is it not obvious that this was "evolved?" Does it not smell of
a garlicky Mansard? And have not all modern communities a common
interest in discrediting anonymous calumny? It were as unjust,
doubtless, to judge the frugal people of France by the comic annuals as
the good-natured people of England by the _Saturday Review_.

[Illustration: The Den of Lions at the Opera. (From _Les Différents
Publics de Paris_, by Gustave Doré.)]

It is evident, too, that the French have a totally different conception
from ourselves of what is fit and unfit to be uttered. They ridicule our
squeamishness; we stand amazed at their indelicacy. Voltaire, who could
read his "Pucelle" to the Queen of Prussia, her young daughter being
also present and seen to be listening, was astounded in London at the
monstrous indecency of "Othello;" and English people of the same
generation were aghast at the license of the Parisian stage. M.
Marcelin, a popular French caricaturist of to-day, dedicates an album
containing thirty pictures of what he styles _Un certain Monde_ to his
mother! We must not judge the productions of such a people by standards
drawn from other than "Latin" sources.

Among the comic artists who began their career in Louis Philippe's time,
under the inspiration of Philipon and Daumier, was a son of the Comte
de Noé, or, as we might express it, Count Noah, a peer of France when
there were peers of France. Amédée de Noé, catching the spirit of
caricature while he was still a boy (he was but thirteen when _Le
Charivavi_ was started), soon made his pseudonym, Cham, familiar to
Paris. Cham being French for Shem, it was a happy way of designating a
son of Count Noah. From that time to the present hour Cham has continued
to amuse his countrymen, pouring forth torrents of sketches, which
usually have the merit of being harmless, and are generally good enough
to call up a smile upon a face not too stiffly wrinkled with the cares
of life. He is almost as prolific of comic ideas as George Cruikshank,
but his pictures are now too rudely executed to serve any but the most
momentary purpose. When a comic album containing sixty-one pictures by
Cham is sold in Paris for about twelve cents of our currency, the artist
can not bestow much time or pains upon his work. The comic almanac
quoted above, containing one hundred and eighty-three pages and seventy
pictures, costs the retail purchaser ten cents.

Gustave Doré, now so renowned, came from Strasburg to Paris in 1845, a
boy of thirteen, and made his first essays in art, three years after, as
a caricaturist in the _Journal pour Rire_. But while he scratched trash
for his dinner, he reserved his better hours for the serious pursuit of
art, which, in just ten years, delivered him from a vocation in which he
could never have taken pleasure. His great subsequent celebrity has
caused the publication of several volumes of his comic work. It abounds
in striking ideas, but the pictures were executed with headlong haste,
to gratify a transient public feeling, and keep the artist's pot
boiling. His series exhibiting the Different Publics of Paris is full of
pregnant suggestions, and there are happy thoughts even in his "Histoire
de la Sainte Russie," a series published during the Crimean war, though
most of the work is crude and hasty beyond belief.

In looking over the volumes of recent French caricature, we discover
that a considerable number of English words have become domesticated in
France. France having given us the words of the theatre and the
restaurant, has adopted in return several English words relating to
out-of-door exercises: Turf, ring, steeple-chase, box (in a stable),
jockey, jockey-club, betting, betting-book, handicap, race, racer,
four-in-hand, mail-coach, sport, tilbury, dog-cart, tandem, pickpocket,
and revolver. Rosbif, bifstek, and "choppe" have long been familiar.
"Milord" is no longer exclusively used to designate a sumptuous
Englishman, but is applied to any one who expends money ostentatiously.
Gentleman, dandy, dandyism, flirt, flirtation, puff, cockney, and
cocktail are words that would be recognized by most Parisians. A French
writer quotes the phrase "hero of two hemispheres," applied to
Lafayette, as a specimen of the "_puff_" superlative. "Othello" has
become synonymous with "jealous man;" and the sentence, "That is the
question," from "Hamlet," seems to have acquired currency in France.
Cab, abbreviated a century ago from the French (cabriolet), has been
brought back to Paris, like the head of a fugitive decapitated in exile.

[Illustration: The Vulture. (From _La Ménagerie Impériale_, 1871.)]

The recent events in France, beginning with the outbreak of the war with
Prussia, have elicited countless caricatures and series of caricatures.
The downfall of the "Empire," as it was called, gave the caricaturists
an opportunity of vengeance which they improved. A citizen of New York
possesses a collection of one thousand satirical pictures published in
Paris during the war and under the Commune. A people who submit to a
despised usurper are not likely to be moderate or decent in the
expression of their contempt when, at length, the tyrant is no longer to
be feared. It was but natural that the French court should insult the
remains of Louis XIV., to whom living it had paid honors all but divine;
for it is only strength and valor that know how to be either magnanimous
or dignified in the moment of deliverance. Many of the people of Paris,
when they heard of the ridiculous termination near Sedan of the odious
fiction called the Empire, behaved like boys just rid of a school-master
whom they have long detested and obeyed. Of course they seized the chalk
and covered all the blackboards with monstrous pictures of the tyrant.
The flight of his wife soon after called forth many scandalous sketches
similar to those which disgraced Paris when Marie Antoinette was in
prison awaiting the execution of her husband and her own trial. Many of
these burlesques, however, were fair and legitimate. The specimen given
on the next page, entitled "Partant pour la Syrie," which appeared soon
after the departure of Eugénie and her advisers, was a genuine hit. It
was exhibited in every window, and sold wherever in France the
victorious Germans were not. A member of the American legation, amidst
the rushing tide of exciting events and topics, chanced to save a copy,
from which it is here reduced.

[Illustration: Badinguet. Eugénie. General Fleury. Pietri. Rouher.
Maupas. Persigny.

Partant pour la Syrie. (Published in Paris after the Flight of

Among the "albums" of siege sketches, we come upon one executed by the
veterans Cham and Daumier, the same Henri Daumier whom Louis Philippe
imprisoned, and Thackeray praised, forty years ago. In this collection
we see Parisian ladies, in view of the expected bombardment, bundled up
in huge bags of cotton, leading lap-dogs protected in the same manner.
An ugly Prussian touches off a bomb aimed at the children in the Jardin
du Luxembourg. King William decorates crutches and wooden legs as
"New-year's presents for his people." An apothecary sells a plaster
"warranted to prevent wounds, provided the wearer never leaves his
house." A workman goes to church for the first time in his life, and
gives as a reason for so unworkman-like a proceeding that "a man don't
have to stand in line for the blessed bread." A volunteer goes on a
sortie with a pillow under his waistcoat "to show the enemy that we have
plenty of provisions." All these are by the festive Cham.

Daumier does not jest. He seems to have felt that Louis Napoleon, like a
child-murderer, was a person far beneath caricature--a creature only fit
to be destroyed and hurried out of sight and thought forever. Amidst the
dreary horrors of the siege, Henri Daumier could only think of its mean
and guilty cause. One of his few pictures in this collection is a row of
four vaults, the first bearing the inscription, "Died on the Boulevard
Montmartre, December 2d, 1851;" the second, "Died at Cayenne;" the
third, "Died at Lambessa;" the fourth, "Died at Sedan, 1870." But even
then Daumier, true to the vocation of a patriotic artist, dared to
remind his countrymen that it was they who had reigned in the guise of
the usurper. A wild female figure standing on a field of battle points
with one hand to the dead, and with the other to a vase filled with
ballots, on which is printed the word OUI. She cries, "_These killed

During the Commune the walls of Paris were again covered with drawings
and lithographs of the character which Frenchmen produce after long
periods of repression: Louis Napoleon crucified between the two thieves,
Bismarck and King William; Thiers in the pillory covered and surrounded
with opprobrious inscriptions; Thiers, Favre, and M'Mahon placidly
looking down from a luxurious upper room upon a slain mother and child
ghastly with blood and wounds; landlords, lean and hungry, begging for
bread, while fat and rosy laborers bask idly in the sun; little boy
Paris smashing his playthings (Trochu, Gambetta, and Rochefort) and
crying for the moon; "Paris eating a general a day;" Queen Victoria in
consternation trying to stamp out the horrid centipede, _International_,
while "Monsieur John Boule, Esquire," stands near with the habeas-corpus
act in his hand; naked France pressing Rochefort to her bosom; and
hundreds more, describable and indescribable.

[Illustration: Gavarni.]

It remains to give a specimen of recent French caricature of another
kind. Once more, after so many proofs of its impolicy, the Government of
France attempts to suppress such political caricature as is not
agreeable to it, while freely permitting the publication of pictures
flagrantly indecent. At no former period, not even in Voltaire's time,
could the French press have been more carefully hedged about with laws
tending to destroy its power to do good, and increase its power to do
harm. The Government treats the press very much after the manner of
those astute parents who forbid their children to see a comedy of
Robertson or a play of Shakspeare, but make it up to them by giving them
tickets to the variety show. A writer familiar with the subject gives us
some astounding details:

"There exist at present," he remarks, "sixty-eight laws in France, all
intended to suppress, curtail, weaken, emasculate, and even to strangle
newspapers; but not one single law to foster them in their dire
misfortune. If any private French gentleman wishes to establish a
newspaper, he must first write to the Préfet de Police, on paper of a
certain size and duly stamped, and give this functionary notice that he
intends to establish a newspaper. His signature has, of course, to be
countersigned by the Maire. But if the paper our friend wishes to
establish is purely literary, he has first to make his declaration to
the police, who rake up every information that is possible about the
unfortunate projector. After that, the Ministère de l'Intérieur
institutes another searching inquiry, and these two take seven or eight
months at least. When the _enquête_ and the _contre-enquête_ are ended,
the _avis favorable_ of the whole Ministry is necessary before the paper
can be published. Another six months to wait yet; but this is not all.
Our would-be newspaper proprietor or editor possesses now the right of
publishing his paper; but he has not yet the right to sell it. In order
to obtain this, he must begin anew all his declarations and attempts, so
that his purely literary paper may be sold at all the ordinary
book-sellers' shops. But if he wishes it to be sold in the streets--or,
in other words, in the kiosques--he must address himself to another
office _ad hoc_, and then the Commissaire de Police sends the answer of
the Préfet de Police to the unfortunate proprietor, editor, or
publisher, who by this time must be nearly at his wits' end.

But even this is not all. If the unhappy projector proposes to
illustrate his paper, his labors are still far from ending. "He must,"
continues the writer, "obtain, of course, the permission of the
Ministère de l'Intérieur for Paris, or of the prefects for the
provinces. The Ministère asks for the opinion of the Governor of Paris,
who asks, in his turn, for the opinion of the Bureau de Censure, a body
of gentlemen working in the dark, and which, to the eye of the obtuse
foreigner, appears only established to prevent any political
insinuations to be made, but to allow the filthiest drawings to be
publicly exposed for sale, and the most indecent innuendoes to be
uttered on the stage or in novels. The Censure demands, under the
penalty of seizing, forbidding, and bringing before the court, that
every sketch or outline shall be submitted to it. When this is done, and
the Censure finds nothing to criticise in it, it requires further that
the drawing, when finished, be anew laid before it, and, if the drawing
be colored, it must be afresh inspected after the dangerous paints have
been smirched on. When our happy editor wishes to publish the caricature
or the portrait of any one, he can not do so unless he has the
permission of the gentleman or lady whose likeness he wishes to

[Illustration: Honoré Daumier.]

Such was the measure of freedom enjoyed in the French republic governed
by soldiers. But this elaborate system of repression can be both evaded
and turned to account by the caricaturist. During the last two or three
years, a writer who calls himself Touchatout has been amusing Paris by a
series of satirical biographies, each preceded by a burlesque portrait.
But occasionally the Censure refuses its consent to the insertion of the
portrait. The son of Louis Napoleon was one individual whom the Censure
thus endeavored to protect. Observe the result. Instead of exhibiting to
the people of Paris a harmless picture representing the head of the
unfortunate young man mounted upon a pair of diminutive legs, Touchatout
prints at the head of his biographical sketch the damaging burlesque

  |                                                    |
  |             RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE.                  |
  |                                                    |
  |        LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY,              |
  |                 AND CENSURE.                       |
  |                                                    |
  |                                                    |
  |                 Vélocipède IV.                     |
  |                                                    |
  |        HAS BEEN FORBIDDEN BY THE CENSURE.          |

I translate the burlesque biography that follows the above. It may serve
also as a specimen of the new literary commodity of which the Parisians
seem so fond, and for which a name has been invented--_blague_--which
means amusingly malign gossip.

"VÉLOCIPÈDE IV. (Napoleon-Eugene-Louis-Jean-Joseph, Prince Imperial,
more commonly known by the name of:) born at Paris, March 16th, 1856. He
is the son of Napoleon III. and of the Empress, Eugénie de Montijo.

"Here a parenthesis. The Trombinoscope has often been accused of
brutality. When we traced the profile of the ex-empress, the cry
was that we had no consideration even for women. We replied that,
in our eyes, sovereigns were no more women than were the she
petroleum-throwers. To-day there will not be wanting people to say
that we do not spare children; and we shall reply, as we have often
said before, that sons are not responsible for the crimes of their
fathers until the day when they set up a claim to profit by them. If,
during the two years that the Trombinoscope has plied his vocation, we
have not aimed a shot at the young hero of Sarrebruck, it is precisely
because childhood inspires respect in us. If this youth, when
consulted upon his calling, had replied, 'My desire is to be an
architect or a shoe-maker,' we should have had nothing to say. But
mark: scarcely has he ceased to be a child when, on being questioned
as to his choice of a trade, he answers, 'I wish to be emperor.' Oh,
indeed! The son of Napoleon III. has entered upon his career; he is a
child no more; and the Trombinoscope re-enters into all his rights.

"We said, then, that Eugene-Napoleon was born March 16th, 1856. The
doctor who received him perceived that he had upon _la fesse droite_ a
mass of odd little red marks. Upon examining closely this phenomenon, he
perceived that these marks were a representation of the bombardment of
the house Sallanvrouze in December, 1851, upon the Boulevard Montmartre.
All was there: the intrepid artillery of Canrobert, smashing the
shop-windows and pulverizing a newspaper stand; the nurses disemboweled
upon the seats; the bootblack on the corner having his customer's leg
carried away from between his hands, etc., etc.

"The empress during her pregnancy had read Victor Hugo's 'Napoleon the
Little,' and had been much struck with the chapter in which the _coup
d'état_ is so well related. They concealed from the people this
tattooing--this far too significant trade-mark--and they placed the
new-born child in a cradle with the ribbon of the Legion of Honor around
his neck. The high dignitaries then advanced to prostrate themselves
before the august infant, who sucked his thumb, and they relate, in this
connection, in the blatant clap-trap History of Napoleon III., that one
of the courtiers narrowly escaped falling into disgrace by appearing
stupefied to see the Prince Imperial decorated at the age of fifteen
hours. Happily he recovered himself in time, and replied to the emperor,
who had remarked his surprise:

"'Sire! I am indeed astonished that His Highness is only commander.'

"To the age of eighteen months, the Prince Imperial did nothing
remarkable; but, dating from that moment, he became a veritable prodigy.
Along with his first pair of trousers, his father ordered two dozen
witticisms of the editors of _Figaro_. These sallies at once went the
rounds of the domestic press, and the Prince Imperial had not reached
his sixth year when he passed, in the rural districts, for having all
the wit which his mother lacked. Thus, in full _Figaro_, appeared one
morning a crayon drawing attributed to the Prince Imperial, at the age
when as yet he only executed in _sepia_ upon the flaps of his shirt.

"This marvel of precocity astonished all men who had need of a
sub-prefectship or a place in the tobacco excise; and this to such a
point that they were not in the least surprised when, during the
Exhibition of 1867, a reporter prepared his left button-hole to receive
the recompense due to the brave by printing--in the self-same _Figaro_,
by heavens!--that the little prince, then eleven years of age, had
discussed with engineers of experience the strong and weak points of all
the wheel work in the grand hall of machinery.

"The years which followed were for the young phenomenon only a
succession of triumphs of the same calibre, until the day when his
father declared that, in order to complete his imperial education,
nothing was wanting to him but to learn to ride the velocipede.

"It need not be said that he learned this noble art, like all the
others, by just blowing upon it.

"Meanwhile, Eugene-Napoleon had achieved various grades in the army.
Named Corporal in the Grenadiers of the Guard at the age of twenty-two
months, one evening when he had not cried for being put to bed at eight
o'clock, he had been made successively pioneer, sergeant,
sergeant-major, and adjutant of the same corps. When he made some
difficulties about swallowing his iodide of potassium in the morning,
they promised him promotion, and that encouraged him. From glass to
glass, he won the epaulet of sub-lieutenant; and at the moment when the
war with Prussia broke out he had just deserved the epaulet of
lieutenant by letting them give him, without crying, an injection with
salt, which inspired him with profound horror.

"At the very beginning of the war, his father took him to the Prussian
frontier, in order to make him pass by his side under triumphal arches
into Berlin, which the army _five times ready_ of Marshal Leboeuf was to
enter within four days at the very latest.

"At the combat of Sarrebruck, that brilliant military pantomime which
the Emperor caused to be performed under the guise of a parade, the
Prince Imperial became the admiration of Europe by picking up on the
field of battle '_a bullet which had fallen near him_,' said the
dispatch of Napoleon to Eugénie. '_From the pocket of a mischievous
staff officer_,' history will add.

"Since our disasters, the Prince Imperial grows and stuffs himself in
exile, with some devoted servants whose salaries go on as before, and a
Spanish mother who teaches him to love France as the most lucrative of
the monarchical tobacco-excise offices in Europe.

"Recently the Prince Imperial, for the first time, declared his
pretension to the throne by thanking the eight Bonapartists, who had
hired a smoking compartment upon the Northern Line in order to present
their compliments--and their bill--on the occasion of the 15th of
August. That was the first act of a Pretender, the cutting of whose
teeth still torments him, and whose new pantaloons become too short at
the end of eight days. It was this which decided us to write his rather
meagre biography.

"As to his person, the Prince Imperial is a perfect type of a slobbering
aspirant of the eighth order. In his exterior, at least, he does not
seem to have derived much from his father; but he has the empty, vain,
and silly expression of his mother. He represents sufficiently well one
of those married boobies whose insignificance condemns them to live upon
their income in a little provincial city, working six hours a day their
part of third cornet in a raw philharmonic society, while their wives at
home make cuckolds of them with the officers of the garrison.


_"Dates to be supplied by the collectors of the Trombinoscope._

"Eugene-Napoleon, attaining his majority March 16th, 1877, demands a
settlement from his mother. She confesses to him that of his maternal
fortune there remain but thirty-two francs. 'What has become, then,' he
asks,'of all the fund which, during the twenty years of papa's empire,
was produced by the exemption money of the conscripts for whom
substitutes were not obtained, by the buttons which were wanting to the
gaiters, and the gaiters which were wanting to the buttons?' 'What has
become of it?' said the Empress. 'Do you suppose that, during these
seven years past, I have maintained _our_ French journals with my old
chignons?' Eugene-Napoleon replied to his mother: 'Then, if I have no
longer a sou with which to take Mandarine to the races, hand me one of
papa's riding-jackets that I may make a descent at Boulogne, to dethrone
Louis Philippe II. He makes a descent at Boulogne, the ---- 18--, with
five drunken men and the little Conneau, all disguised as circus staff
officers. They put him on his trial; he is convicted the ---- 18--; is
pardoned the ---- 18--; repeats the performance the ---- 18--. The
Republic having turned out Louis Philippe II., Eugene-Napoleon re-enters
France the ---- 18--as simple citizen. The republicans, who are always
just so foolish, permit him to be elected deputy the ---- 18--, and
president the ---- 18--. He seats himself upon the Republic December 2d,
18--, and re-establishes the Empire the ---- 18--. The social
decomposition resumes its course. Vélocipède IV. marries the ---- 18--,
a circus girl. The moral scale continues to rise: Blanche d'Antigny and
Cora Pearl are ladies of honor at the Tuileries. The ----18--, at the
moment when Vélocipède IV. is about to engage in a war with Prussia,
which he thinks will consolidate his throne, but which, considering the
organization of our artillery, threatens to extend the German frontiers
as far as Saint-Ouen. France stops the drain of those ruinous
imitations, drives out the Emperor, and again proclaims the Republic.
This time, a thing wholly unexpected, some republicans are found who,
after having energetically swept France clean of all that appertains to
former systems, whether pretenders, office-holders, spies, etc., etc.,
push their logic even to the point of bolting the door inside, in order
not to be interfered with in their loyal endeavor. This device, so
simple, but by which we have passed three times in a century without
seeing it, succeeds to admiration; and at length it is announced, the
---- 19--, that Vélocipède IV., after having been by turns, at London,
keeper of a thirteen-sous bazaar, pickpocket, circus performer,
magnetizer, and dealer in lead-pencils, dies in the flower of his age
from the effects of a disease which his father did not contract while
presiding at a meeting of his cabinet."

With this specimen of _blague_ we may leave the caricaturists of France
to fight it out with La Censure.



Upon the news-stands in St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia,
Milwaukee, New York, and other cities, we find the comic periodicals of
Germany, particularly the _Fliegende Blätter_ of Berlin, and the
_Beilage der Fliegenden Blätter_ of Munchen, papers resembling _Punch_
in form and design. The American reader who turns over their leaves can
not but remark the mildness of the German jokes. Compared with the
tremendous and sometimes ghastly efforts of the dreadful Funny Man of
the American press, the jests of the Germans are as lager-beer to the
goading "cocktail" and the maddening "smash!" But, then, they are
delightfully innocent. Coming from the French comic albums and papers to
those of the Germans, is like emerging, after sunrise, from a masquerade
ball, all gas, rouge, heat, and frenzy, into a field full of children
playing till the bell rings for school. Nevertheless, the impression
remains that an extremely mild joke suffices to amuse the German reader
of comic periodicals.

The pictured jests, as in _Punch_, are the attractive feature. Observe
the infantile simplicity of a few of these, taken almost at random from
recent volumes of the papers just mentioned:

Two young girls, about twelve, are sitting upon a bench in a public
garden. Two dandies walk past, who are dressed alike, and resemble one
another. "Tell me, Fanny," says one of the girls, "are not those two
gentlemen brothers?" This is the reply: "One of them is, I know for
certain; but I am not quite sure about the other."

A strapping woman, sooty, wearing a man's hat, and carrying a ladder and
brushes, is striding along the street. The explanation vouchsafed is the
following: "The very eminent magistrate has determined to permit the
widow of the meritorious chimney-sweep, Spazzicammino, to continue the

A silly-looking gentleman is seen conversing with a lady upon whom he
has called, while a number of cats are playing about the room. "Why have
you so many cats?" he asks. The lady replies: "Well, you see, my cook
kept giving warning because I locked up the milk and meat, and so I got
the cats as a pretext."

Two ladies are conversing. The elder says: "Why do you quarrel with your
husband so often?" The younger replies: "Oh, you know the making-up is
extremely entertaining, and getting good again is so lovely!"

[Illustration: Evolution of the Piano, according to Darwin. (Berlin,

A scene in a cheap book-store. A young lady says to the clerk: "I want a
Lovers' Letter-writer--a cheap one." "Here, miss?" "How much is it?"
"Eighteen kreutzers." "That is too dear for me." "Oh, but I beg your
pardon, miss, if you take the Letter-writer, you get Schiller's works
thrown in; and if a young lady buys at this shop a tract upon potatoes,
she gets the whole of Goethe into the bargain."

The steps of a church are exhibited, with a clergyman assisting an old
woman down to the sidewalk. A long explanation is given, as follows:
"Parson Friedel, a thoroughly good fellow, though not a particularly
good preacher, goes on Sunday morning to church to edify his flock. On
his arrival he sees an old dame trying in vain to get up the icy steps.
'Oh, sir,' she says, not recognizing the holy man, 'pray help me up.' He
does so, and when they have reached the top she thanks him, and adds,
'Oblige me also, dear sir, by telling me who preaches to-day?' 'Parson
Friedel,' he courteously replies. 'Oh, sir, then help me down again.'
The parson, smiling, rejoins: 'Quite right; I wouldn't go in myself if I
were not obliged to.'"

A very tall man is bending over to light his cigar at an exceedingly
short man's cigar. "What!" says the short man, "you wonder that your
light goes out so often? That is owing to the rarity of the atmosphere
in the elevated regions in which your cigar moves."

A stable scene, in which figure a horse, an officer, and a horse-dealer.
The officer says: "The horse I bought of you yesterday has a fault; he
is lame in the off fore-leg." The dealer replies: "Ah! and do you call
that a fault? I call it a misfortune."

A clergyman's study. Enter a very ill-favored pair, to whom the
clergyman says: "So you wish to be married, do you? Well, have you
maturely reflected upon it?" The man replies: "Yes, we have asked
beforehand about how much it will cost."

[Illustration: A Corporal, who is about to be promoted, presents Himself
before the Major.

"Can you read?" "At your service, major." "Can you write?" "At your
service, major." "Can you cipher?" "At your service, major." "What are
you in civil life?" "Doctor of philosophy and lecturer in the
university."--_Fliegende Blätter_, Berlin, 1872.]

A compartment of a railway carriage, in which are two passengers, one of
whom has two little pigs under the seat, and the other a small curly
lap-dog in his lap. _Conductor_ (standing outside). "Have you a dog's
ticket?" "No." "Then get one." "But my dog troubles no one." "That makes
no difference." "But this countryman here has two pigs in the carriage."
"No matter for that; we have a rule about dogs, but none for pigs."

A boat on a Swiss lake with a party about to lunch. A lady, in great
alarm, says to the boatman: "Stop, for Heaven's sake, stop! You told the
people, when we got in, that your boat would sink if it were heavier by
half an ounce. But if these men eat all that, we shall go to the bottom
for a certainty."

A restaurant scene. A customer, handing back to a waiter a plate of
meat, says: "Waiter, this meat is so tough I can't chew it." _Waiter._
"Excuse me, I will bring you a sharp knife immediately."

An aged clergyman parting with a young soldier about to join the army,
says: "Augustus, you now enter upon a military career. Take care of your
health, and mind you lead a good life." _Augustus._ "Same to you,

A boy up a tree, and a gentleman standing under it. "I'll teach you to
steal my plums, you scoundrel! I'll tell your father." "What do I care?
My father steals himself." This picture is headed, "Good Fruit."

A family seated at dinner. _Mother._ "But, Elsie, naughty girl! what
horrid manners you have! You eat only the cream, and leave the
dumplings." _Elsie._ "Why, papa can eat them."

A man and woman of Jewish cast of countenance are seen at a pawnbroker's
sale. _Woman._ "Well, what will you buy for mother's birthday?" _Man._
"A handsome dress, I think." _Woman._ "How unpractical you are! She can
only live three or four years at most; and even in that short time a
dress will be in rags. Let us buy for the dear old soul a pair of silver
candlesticks. Then when she dies we shall have them back again."

Under the heading of "Cheap Illumination," we are presented with a
picture of an Esquimau with a lighted wick held in his mouth, and the
following explanation: "The Esquimaux, as is well known, live on the fat
of the reindeer, the seal, and the whale. This suggested to the arctic
traveler, Warnie, the idea of drawing a wick through the body of one of
the natives, and in this way obtaining a brilliant train-oil lamp for
the long winter nights."

[Illustration: A Bold Comparison. (Berlin, 1873.)

_Pastor's Wife._ "But half the cracknels are scorched to-day."

_Cracknel Man._ "So they are. But, you see, I have the same luck as the
pastor: all his sermons do not turn out equally good."]

Two noble ladies chatting over their tea: "Only think, my dear, we are
obliged to discharge our man." "Why?" "Oh, he begins to be too familiar.
What do you think? I saw him cleaning the boots, and I discovered, to my
horror, that he had my husband's boots, my son's, and _his own_, all
mixed together!"

A lady hurrying home from an approaching shower, dragging her little boy
with her. _Boy._ "But, mother, why should we be so afraid of the thunder
storm? Those hay-makers yonder don't care." _Mother._ "Child, they are
poor people, who don't attract the lightning as we do, who always have
gold and ready cash about us."

A scene in a police court, the magistrate questioning a witness: "You
are a carpenter, are you not?" "I am." "You were at work in the vicinity
of the place where the scuffle occurred?" "I was." "How far from the two
combatants were you standing?" "Thirty-six feet and a half, Rhenish
measure." "How can you speak so exactly?" "Because I measured it. I
thought that most likely some fool would be asking about that at the

These may suffice as examples of the average comic force of the German
joke. A very few of the above--perhaps four or five in all--might have
been accepted by the editors of _Punch_, with the requisite changes of
scene and dialect. We must also bear in mind that the dialect counts for
much in a comic scene, as we can easily perceive by changing a Yorkshire
bumpkin's language in a comedy into London English. Half of the
laugh-compelling power of some of the specimens given may lie in
peculiarities of dialect and grammar of which no one but a native of the
country can feel the force. A few of the more vivid and telling examples
are given in the accompanying illustrations.

The glimpses of German life which the comic artists afford remind us
that the children of men are of one family, the several branches of
which do not differ from one another so much as we are apt to suppose.
German fathers, too, as we see in these pictures, stand amazed at the
quantity of property their daughters can carry about with them in the
form of wearing apparel. A domestic scene exhibits a young lady putting
the last fond touches to her toilet, while a clerk presents a long bill
to the father of the family, who throws his hands aloft, and exclaims,
"Oh, blessed God! Thou who clothest the lilies of the field, provide
also for my daughter, at least during the Carnival!"

[Illustration: Strict Discipline in the Field--Major going the Rounds at

_Sentinel._ "Who goes there? Halt!" (Major, not regarding the summons,
the soldier fires, and misses.)

_Major._ "Three days in the guard-house for your bad shooting."]

Germany, not less than England and America, laughs at "the modern
mother," who dawdles over Goethe, and is "literary," and wears
eyeglasses, while delegating to bottles and goats her peculiar duties.
An extravagant burlesque of this form of self-indulgence presents to
view a baby lying on its back upon a centre-table, its head upon a
pillow, taking nourishment _direct_ from a goat standing over it; the
mother sitting near in a luxurious chair, reading. Enter the family
doctor, who cries, aghast, "Why, what's this, baroness? I did not mean
it _in that way_! A she-goat is not a wet-nurse." To which the baroness
languidly replies, looking from her book, "Why not?"

And here is the German version of _Punch's_ widely disseminated joke
upon marriage: "If you are going to be married, my son, I will give you
some good advice." "And what is it?" "Better not."

The Woman's Rights agitation gave rise to burlesques precisely similar
in inane extravagance to those which appeared in England, America, and
France. We have the "Students of the Future," a series representing
buxom lasses in dashing bloomers, smoking, dissecting, fighting duels,
and hunting. The young lady who has on her dissecting-table a bearded
"subject" is leaning against it nonchalantly, drinking a pot of beer,
and another young lady is using the pointed heel of her fashionable boot
as a tobacco-stopper. Here, too, is the husband who comes home late, and
whose wife _will_ sit up for him.

The great servant-girl question is also up for discussion in Germany,
after occupying womankind for three thousand years. Here is a group of
servants talking together. "Yesterday I gave warning," says one. "Why?"
asks another; "the wages are high, the food is good, and you have every
Sunday out." The reply is: "Well, you must know, my Fritz don't like it.
Mistress buys her wine at the wine-merchant's, where I get the bottles
all sealed. Don't you see?"

[Illustration: Ahead of Time.

The aged and extremely absent-minded prince of a little territory visits
the public institutions every year. On leaving the high school, he says
to the teacher: "I am very much pleased with every thing, only the soup
is a little too thin."

_Teacher_ (aside to aid-de-camp). "What does his Highness mean by thin

_Aid-de-camp._ "It is only a slip. His Highness should have said that in
the hospital."]

In the same spirit, as every reader knows, the drawing-room judges the
kitchen in other lands besides Germany, and is supported in its judgment
by satiric artists who evolve preposterously impossible servants from
the shallows of their own ignorance.

Rarely, indeed, does a German caricaturist presume to meddle with
politics, and still more rarely does he do it with impunity. The
Germans, with all their excellences, seem wanting in the spirit that has
given us our turbulent, ill-organized freedom. Perhaps their beer has
offered too ready and cheap a resource against the chafing resentments
that tyranny excites; for a narcotized brain is indolently submissive to
whatever is very difficult of remedy. Coffee and tobacco keep the Turk a
slave. The wisest act of Louis Napoleon's usurpation was his giving a
daily ration of tobacco to every soldier. Woe to despots when men cease
to dull and pollute their brains with tobacco and alcohol! There will
then be a speedy end put to the system that takes five millions of the
_élite_ of Europe from industry, and consigns them to the business of
suppression and massacre. Whatever may be the cause, Germany has
scarcely yet begun her apprenticeship to freedom; and, consequently, her
public men lose the inestimable advantage of seeing their measures as
the public sees them. Let us hope that the German people may be able to
appropriate part of our experience, and so work their way to rational
and orderly freedom without passing through the stage of ignorant
suffrage and thief-politicians. Meanwhile there is no political
caricature in Germany.

[Illustration: A Journeyman's Leave-taking.

"Hear me, all of you. You, and you, and you, and you! Good-bye,
mistresses. I tell you freely to your faces, your bacon and greens are
not to my taste. I am going to try my luck. I will march on."--LUDWIG
RICHTER, _Leipsic_, 1848.]

As a set-off to this defect, I may mention again the absence from the
German comic periodicals of the class of subjects which, at present,
seems to be the sole inspiration of French art and French humor. It is
evident that the Germans do not regard illicit love as the chief end of
man. The reason of the superior decency of German satire is, probably,
that German methods of education awaken the intelligence and store the
mind with the food of thought. Indecency is the natural resource of a
thoughtless mind, because the physical facts of our existence constitute
a very large proportion of all the knowledge it possesses. Suppose those
facts and the ideas growing directly out of them to be one hundred in
number. The whole number of facts and ideas in an ignorant mind may not
exceed two hundred; while in the intellect of a Goethe or a Lessing
there may live and revolve twenty thousand. Convent education is
probably the cause of French indecency, simply from its leaving the mind
dull and the imagination active. Many Frenchmen must think _bodily_, or
not think at all. This conjecture I hazard because I have observed in
Protestant schools, professedly and distinctively religious, the same
morbid tendency in the pupils that we notice in French art and drama.
The French are right in not trusting their convent-bred girls out of
sight. The convent-bred boys, who can not be so closely watched, show
the untrustworthiness of moral principle which is not fortified by
intelligent conviction. The Germans, from their better mental culture
and greater variety of topics, are not reduced to the necessity of
amusing themselves by "bodily wit."



As it is "Don Quixote" that has given most of us whatever insight into
Spanish life and character we possess, we should naturally expect to
find in the Spain of to-day abundant manifestations of satirical talent.
But since the great age when such men as Cervantes could be formed, the
intellect of Spain has suffered exhausting depletion, and the nation has
in consequence long lain intellectually impotent, the natural prey of
priests, dynasties, and harlots. The progress of a country depends upon
the use it makes of its best men. Since Cervantes was born, in 1547, all
the valuable men among the Moors and Jews, with a million of their
countrymen, have been banished, carrying away with them precious arts,
processes, instincts, aptitudes, and talents; to say nothing of the good
that comes to a country of having upon its soil a variety of races and
religions, each developing some excellencies of human nature which the
others overlook or undervalue. In the same generation hundreds of the
valiant men of Spain went down in the Armada, and thousands were wasted
in America.

But these were not the fatal losses. These men could have been replaced,
such is the bountiful fertility of nature. But, in those days, if a man
was reared who possessed independence or force of mind, or had much mind
of any kind, he was likely to become a Protestant; and, if he did, one
of two calamitous fates awaited him, either of which made him useless to
Spain: he either concealed his opinions, and thus stifled his nobler
life, or else the Inquisition destroyed him. Never was such successful
war waged upon the human mind as in Spain at that period, for every man
who manifested any kind of mental superiority was either slain or
neutralized. If he escaped the goldmines, the wars, and the Inquisition,
there was still the Church to take him in and convert him into a priest.

Nor need we go as far as Spain to see the fatal damage done to
communities by the absorption of promising youth into the priesthood. We
have only to go to the French parts of Canada, and mark the difference
between the torpid and hopeless villages there, and the vigorous,
handsome towns of New England, New York, and Michigan, just over the
border. The reason of this amazing contrast is that on our side of the
line the natural leaders of the people found mills, factories,
libraries, and schools; on the other side they enter convents and build
churches; and the people, thus bereft of their natural chiefs, harness
forlorn cows to crazy carts, and come down into Vermont and New
Hampshire in harvest-time to get a little money to help them through the
long Canadian winter. Thus, in Spain and Italy, the men who ought to
serve the people, prey upon them, and the direct and chief reason why
the northern nations of Europe surpass the southern is, that in the
north the superior minds are turned to account, and in the south they
have been entombed in the Church or paralyzed by titles of nobility.

[Illustration: After Sedan.

"Señor, we have brought to your Majesty this paroquet, which we found as
we were going our rounds in camp."--From _Gil Blas_, Madrid, September,

Hence, in the country of Cervantes, in the native land of Gil Blas and
Figaro, there is now little manifestation of their comic fertility and
gayety of mind. A member of the American Legation obligingly writes from
Madrid in 1875:

"I have questioned many persons here in regard to Spanish caricature,
but have always received the same reply, namely, that pictorial
caricature, political or other, has not existed in Spain till 1868. I
have searched book-stores and book-stalls, and find nothing; nor have
the venders been able to aid me. I found in a private library some
Bibles and other religious books of the sixteenth century, in which were
caricatures of the Pope and of similar subjects, but they were printed
in Flanders, though in the Spanish language; and the art is Dutch. The
pasquinades of Italy never prevailed in Spain. It is thought at our
Legation here that there must have been caricature in Spain, from the
writings of Spaniards being so full of satire and wit; but though the
germ may have existed, I am inclined to think it was not developed till
the dethronement of Isabel II. and the proclamation of the Republic
broke down the barriers to the liberty, if not license, of the

"Between 1868 and 1875 various papers were published here containing
caricatures, copies of which are to be had, but at a premium. Until this
period, I fancy the Inquisition, censorship, and other causes prevented
any display of a spirit of caricature which may have existed. The real,
untraveled Spanish mind has little idea of true wit: of satire and
burlesque, yes; of inoffensive joke or pun, none. There is no Spanish
word for _pun_; that for joke is _broma_, taken from the Spanish name of
the _Teredo navalis_, or wood-borer, so fatal to vessels, and really
means an annoying, or _practical_, joke. I have some samples of
caricature, published during the period to which I refer, many of which,
to one who is familiar with the politics, manners, and customs in Spain
at the time, are equal in point, if not in execution, to any thing in
_Punch_. They were, for the greater part, designed by Ortego, but are of
the English or French style, and have little Spanish individuality."

[Illustration: To the Bull-fight.

"There they go, all resolved to yell _Bungler!_ at the picador, whether
he does his part well or ill. It's all they know how to do."--From _El
Mundo Cómico_, Madrid, 1873.]

A great mass of the comic illustrated series and periodicals alluded to
by my attentive correspondent accompanied his letter, and justify its
statements. The "French style" is indeed most apparent in them, as the
reader shall see. The "Comic Almanac" for 1875 ("Almanaque Cómico" para
1875), published at Madrid, and profusely illustrated, is entirely in
the French style. Many of the pictures have every thing of Gavarni
except his genius. Here are some that catch the eye in running over its
shabby, ill-printed pages:

Picture of an ill-favored father contemplating a worse-favored boy, aged
about six years. Father speaks: "It is very astonishing! The more this
son of mine grows, the more he looks like my friend Ramon."

[Illustration: A Delegation of Birds of Prey, presenting Thanks to the
Authors of the Bountiful Carnage provided for the Late Festival. (From
_Gil Blas_, Madrid, September, 1870.)]

Picture of a gentleman in evening dress, flirting familiarly with a
dancing-girl behind the scenes of a theatre. She says: "If only your
intentions were good!" To which he replies by asking: "And what do you
call good intentions?" She casts down her eyes and stammers: "To
promise--to keep your word."

Picture of a young lady at the desk of a public writer, to whom she
says: "Make the sweetest little verse to tell him that I hope to see him
next Sunday at the gate of the Alcalá, near the first swing."

Picture of a husband and wife, both in exuberant health. _She._ "You
grow worse and worse; and sea-bathing is _so_ good for you!" _He._ "And
you?" _She._ "I am well; but I shall go with you to take care of you,

Picture of a very fashionably dressed lady and little girl, to whom
enters, hat and cane in hand, a gentleman, who says to the child: "Do
you not remember me, little Ruby?" She replies: "Ah, yes! You are the
_first_ papa that used to come to our house a good while ago, and you
always brought me caramels."

Picture of two young ladies in conversation. One of them says: "When he
looks at me, I lower my eyes. When he presses my hand, I blush. And if
he kisses me, I call to mamma, and the poor fellow believes it, and
dares go no further."

Picture of a woman in a bath-tub, to whom enters a man presenting a
bill. She says: "Take a seat, for I am about to rise from the bath, and
then we can settle that account."

[Illustration: "Child, you will take cold."

"I take cold? But how well that overcoat fits him!"--From _El Mundo
Cómico_, Madrid, 1873.]

Picture of nurse, infant, and father. The father says: "Tell me, nurse;
every body says it looks like me, but I think it takes after its mother
more." The nurse replies: "When it laughs, yes; but when it frowns, it
looks like you _atrociously_."

Picture of a "fast-looking" woman and the janitor of a lodging-house. He
says: "You wish to see the landlord? I think he does not mean to have
ladies in his house who are alone." She replies: "I am never alone."

Picture of young lady in bed, to whom a servant holds up an elegant
bonnet, and says: "Tell me, since you are ill, and can not go to the
ball, will you lend this to your _affectionate and faithful servant_,
since I give you my word not to injure it?"

Picture of husband and wife at home, she taking out a note that had been
concealed in a handkerchief. He speaks: "A woman who deceives her
husband deserves no pity." She replies: "But if she does not deceive her
husband, whom is she to deceive?"

Picture of the manager of a theatre in his office, to whom enters a
dramatic author. _Author:_ "I have called to know if you have read my
play." _Manager:_ "Not yet. It is numbered, in the list of plays
received, 792; so that for this year--" _Author:_ "No, sir; nor for that
which is to come either."

This will suffice for the "Comic Almanac." The _Comic World_ (_El Mundo
Cómico_), which next invites attention, is a weekly paper published at
Madrid during the last four years. This work, also, has much in common
with the wicked world of Paris, as with the wicked world of all
countries where the priest feeds the imagination and starves the
intellect. This reveling in the illicit and the indecent, which so
astonishes us in the popular literature of Catholic countries, is
merely a sign of impoverished mind, which is obliged to revolve
ceaselessly about the physical facts of our existence, because it is
acquainted with so few other facts.

The first number of the _Comic World_ presents a colored engraving of a
Spanish beauty, attired in the last extremity of the fashion,
bonnetless, fan in hand, with high-heeled boots, and a blending of
French and Spanish in her make-up, walking in the street unattended. The
picture is headed: "In Quest of the Unknown."

The next picture shows that Spain, too, has its savings-banks which do
not save. Two strolling musicians, clothed in rags, are exhibited, one
of whom says to the other: "A pretty situation! While men drive by in a
coach after robbing us of our savings deposited in their banks, we ask
alms of the robbers!"

[Illustration: Inconvenience of the New Collar.

"How, my Adela, can you ask me to whisper in your ear when you have put
that cover over it?"--From _El Mundo Cómico_, Madrid, 1873.]

There is a pair of pictures, one called "The Cocks," and the other "The
Pullets." The Cocks are three very young Spanish dandies, with dawning
mustaches, extremely thin canes, and all the other puppyisms. The
Pullets are three young ladies of similar age and taste. As they pass in
the street, one of the Cocks says to his companions: "Do you see how the
tallest one blushes?" The reply is: "Yes; when she sees me." At the same
moment the Pullets exchange whispers. "How fast you go!" says one.
"Don't speak!" says another. "The dark-complexioned one is he whom we
saw at the theatre." "Yes, I remember; the one in the box." In these
pictures, as in most other Spanish caricatures, the men are meagre and
disagreeable-looking, but the ladies are plump and attractive.

A "domestic scene" follows, which must be peculiar to Spain, one would
think. A gay young husband, on leaving home in the evening, is addressed
by his wife, who has a hand in his waistcoat-pocket: "You carry away
twelve dollars and three shillings. We will see what extraordinary
expense you incur to-night."

At Madrid, as at other capitals of Europe, the Englishman is an object
of interest. Ladies seem to consider him a desirable match, and men make
him the hero of extravagant anecdotes. There is a _table-d'hôte_ picture
in _El Mundo Cómico_, presenting a row of people at an advanced stage of
dinner, when the guests become interesting to one another. "Have you
seen the colonel?" asks a chaperon of the young lady by her side. The
damsel, looking her demurest, says: "Do not distract me; the Englishman
is looking at me." Other pictures indicate that the ladies of Madrid are
accustomed to look upon Englishmen as worth posing for.

The _Comic World_ aims a vilely executed caricature at the ghost of
Hamlet's father, who is represented in the usual armor. The words
signify: "All I ask is, did that ancient race take their afternoon nap
in cuirass and helmet?" From which we may at least infer that "El
Príncipe Hamlet" is a familiar personage to the inhabitants of Madrid.

[Illustration: Sufferings endured by a Prisoner of War. (From _Gil
Blas_, Madrid, September, 1870.)]

Among the numerous colored engravings which reflect upon, or, rather
glorify, the frailty of women is one which can with difficulty be
understood by Protestants. A girl is about to go to bed, and is saying a
prayer beginning, "With God I lie down, with God I rise, with the Virgin
Mary and the Holy Ghost!" The joke does not appear at the first glance,
for there is no one else in the bedroom, unless there is some one in the
curtained bed. We discover, at length, lying near her feet, a pair of
man's boots!

Nothing is sacred to these savage caricaturists of the French school.
Another colored picture in _El Mundo Cómico_ is called "Absence," and is
designed to exhibit the sorrow of a woman at the absence of her lover in
the wars. She says: "Poor Louis! I am here alone, forsaken, and he is
pursuing the insurgents in the mountains. Does he remember me?" The
innocent reader may well ask, What is the comedy of the situation? The
woman in this scene is sitting on the edge of her bed, nearly naked,
taking off her earrings, with other finery of her trade lying about on
the table and the floor.

After running through a volume of this periodical, we are prepared to
believe the descriptions given of society in the Spanish capital by the
correspondent of the London _Times_ during the early months of Alfonso's
"reign." Speaking of a monstrous scandal inculpating the king, he wrote:
"In a profligate, frivolous, and gossiping capital like Madrid, where
every one seems intent upon political plotting, debauchery, and
idleness, there is no scandal, no invention of malice too gross and
improbable for acceptance, provided those attacked are well known. The
higher his or her rank, the greater is the cynical satisfaction with
which the tale of depravity is retailed by the newsmongers in _café_,
_tertulia_, and club."

Another comic weekly published at Madrid is called _Gil Blas, Periódico
Satírico_. This is by far the least bad of the comic papers recently
attempted in Spain. Many of its subjects are drawn from the politics of
the period, and some of them appear to be very happily treated. The
sorry adventures of Louis Napoleon and his son in the war between France
and Prussia are presented with much comic effect. Queen Isabel and her
hopeful boy figure also in many sketches, which were doubtless amusing
to the people of Madrid when they appeared. The Duc de Montpensier and
other possible candidates for the throne are portrayed in situations and
circumstances not to be fully understood at this distance from the time
and scene.

The Spanish caricatures given in this chapter, whatever the reader may
think of them, were selected from about a thousand specimens; and if
they are not the very best of the thousand, they are at least the best
of those which can be appreciated by us.

Cuba had its comic periodical during the brief ascendency of liberal
ideas in 1874. A Cuban letter of that year chronicles its suspension:
"The comic weekly newspaper, _Juan Palonio_, has met its death-blow by
an order of suspension for a month, and a strong hint to the director,
Don Juan Ortega, that a trip to the Peninsula would be of benefit to his
health. The immediate cause of this order was a cartoon, representing
the arms of the captain-general wielding a broom, marked 'extraordinary
powers,' and sweeping away ignorance, the insurrection, etc. There was
nothing, in fact, to take umbrage at; but the cartoon served as a
pretext to kill the paper, which was rather too republican in tone. The
Government censor was removed from his position for the same reason, and
a new one appointed."

In those countries long debauched by superstition, comic art has little
chance; for if tyranny does not kill it, a dissolute public degrades it
into a means of pollution.



As soon as comic art in Italy is mentioned, we think of Pasquino, the
merry Roman tailor, whose name has enriched all the languages of Europe
with an effective word. Many men whose names have been put to a similar
use have, notwithstanding, been completely forgotten; but Pasquino,
after having been the occasion of pasquinades for four centuries, is
still freshly remembered, and travelers tell his story over again to
their readers.

Pasquino was the fashionable tailor at Rome about the time when the
discovery of America was a recent piece of news. In his shop, as
tradition reports, bishops, courtiers, nobles, literary men, were wont
to meet to order their clothes, and retail the scandal of the city. The
master of the shop, a wit himself, and the daily receptacle of others'
wit, uttered frequent epigrams upon conspicuous persons, which passed
from mouth to mouth, as such things will in an idle and luxurious
community. Whatever piece of witty malice was afloat in the town came to
be attributed to Pasquino; and men who had more wit than courage
attributed to him the satire they dared not claim.

Catholics who have seen the inside of Roman life, who have been
domiciled with bishops and cardinals, report that the magnates of Rome,
to this day, associate in the informal manner in which we should suppose
they did four centuries ago, from the traditions of Pasquino and his
sayings. The Pope sends papers of _bonbons_ to the Sisters who have
charge of infant schools, and shares among the cardinals the delicacies
and interesting objects which are continually sent to him. Upon hearing
their accounts of the easy familiarities and light tone of the higher
ecclesiastical society of recent times, we can the better understand the
traditions that have come down to us of Pasquino and his shop full of
highnesses and eminences.

Pasquino, like the "fellow of infinite jest" upon whose skull Hamlet
moralized in the church-yard, died, and was buried. Soon after his death
it became necessary to dig up an ancient statue half sunk in the ground
of his street; and, to get it out of the way, it was set up close to his
shop. "Pasquino has come back," said some one. Rome accepted the jest,
and thus the statue acquired the name of Pasquino, which it retains to
the present day. Soon it became a custom to stick to it any epigram or
satirical verse the author of which desired to be unknown. So many of
these sharp sayings were aimed at the ecclesiastical lords of Rome,
that one of the popes was on the point of having the statue thrown into
the river, just as modern tyrants think to silence criticism by
suppressing the periodical in which it appears. Pasquino, properly
enough, was saved by an epigram.

"Do not throw Pasquino into the Tiber," said the Spanish embassador,
"lest he should teach all the frogs in the river to croak pasquinades."

We can not wonder that the popes should have objected to Pasquino's
biting tongue, if the specimens of his wit which are given by Mr.
Story[38] fairly represent him. There was a volume of six hundred and
thirty-seven pages of epigrams and satires, published in 1544, claiming
to be pasquinades, many of which doubtless were such. Here is one upon
the infamous pope, Alexander Sextus:

  "Sextus Tarquinius, Sextus Nero--this also is Sextus.
   Always under the Sextuses Rome has been ruined."

[Footnote 38: "Roba di Roma," p. 283.]

After the sudden death of Pope Leo X., two Latin lines to the following
effect were found upon Pasquino:

  "If you desire to hear why at his last hour Leo
   Could not the sacraments take, know he had sold them."

The allusion is to Leo's unscrupulous use of every means within his
power of raising money.

When Clement VII., after the sack of Rome, was held a prisoner, Pasquino
had this:

  "_Papa non potest errare._"

This sentence ordinarily means that the pope can not err; but the verb
_errare_ signifies also _to wander_, _to stroll_; so that the line was a
sneer both at the pope's confinement and his claim to infallibility.

One of Pasquino's hardest hits was called forth by the grasping measures
of Pius VI.:

  "Three jaws had Cerberus, and three mouths as well,
   Which barked into the blackest deeps of hell.
   Three hungry mouths have you; ay, even four;
   None of them bark, but all of them devour."

There was a capital one, too, and a just, upon the institution of the
Legion of Honor in France by Napoleon Bonaparte, not long after he had
stolen several hundred precious works of art and manuscripts from the
Roman States.

  "In times less pleasant and more fierce, of old,
   The thieves were hung upon the cross, we're told.
   In times less fierce, more pleasant, like to-day,
   Crosses are hung upon the thieves, they say."

Thus for centuries have Pasquino and his rival, Marfario, an exhumed
river-god, given occasional expression to the pent-up wrath of Italy at
the spoliation of their beautiful country. Mr. Story reports a
pasquinade which appeared but a very few years since, when all the world
was longing to hear of the death of Ferdinand II. of Naples, who, under
the name of King Bomba, was so deeply execrated by Italians. Pasquino
supposes a traveler just arrived from Naples, and asks him what he has
seen there, when the following conversation takes place:

"I have seen a tumor [_tumore_]." "A tumor? But what is a tumor?" "For
answer, take away the _t_." "Ah! a humor [_umore_]. But is this humor
dangerous?" "Take away the _u_." "He dies! what a pity! But when?
Shortly?" "Take away the _m_." "Hours! In a few hours! But who, then,
has this humor?" "Take away the _o_." "King! The king! I am delighted.
But, then, where will he go?" "Take away the _r_." "E-e-e-h!"

[Illustration: King Bomba's Ultimatum to Sicily. (From _Il Don Pirlone_,
Rome, December, 1848.)]

Could there be any thing better than a pasquinade which appeared during
the conference upon Italian affairs at Zürich between the
representatives of Austria, Italy, and France? Pasquino enters the
chamber, where he holds the following conversation with the

"Do you speak French?" "No." "Do you speak German?" "No." "Do you speak
Italian?" "No." "What language do you speak?" "Latin." "And what have
you got to say in Latin?" "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever
shall be, for ever and ever. Amen."

Happily, Pasquino was not a prophet, and the affairs of Italy are not as
they were and had been during so many ages of despair.

From these specimens of Italian satire we should expect to find the
people of Italy effective with the satirical pencil also. The spirit of
caricature is in them, but the opportunities for its exercise and
exhibition have been few and far between. As in Spain there was an
exhaustive depletion of intellectual force, so in Italy the human mind,
during late centuries, has been crushed under a dead weight of priests.
Professor Charles Eliot Norton, in his "Travel and Study in Italy,"
tells us that Roman artists can not now so much as copy well the
masterpieces by which they are surrounded.

"The utter sterility," he says, "and impotence of mind which have long
been and are still conspicuous at Rome, the deadness of the Roman
imagination, the absence of all intellectual energy in literature and in
art, are the necessary result of the political and moral servitude under
which the Romans exist. Where the exercise of the privileges of thought
is dangerous, the power of expression soon ceases. For a time--as during
the seventeenth century in Italy--the external semblance of originality
may remain, and mechanical facility of execution may conceal the absence
of real life; but by degrees the very semblance disappears, and facility
of execution degenerates into a mere trick of the hand. The Roman
artists of the present time have not, in general, the capacity even of
good copyists. They can mix colors and can polish marble, but they are
neither painters nor sculptors."

And yet (as the same author remarks) with the first breath of freedom
the dormant capacity of the Italians awakes. In Italy, as in France,
Spain, and Cuba, caricature dies when freedom is gone, and lives again
as soon as the oppressor is removed. In 1848, when the Revolution had
gained ascendency in Rome, a satirical paper appeared, called _Il Don
Pirlone_, published weekly, and illustrated by strong, though rudely
executed, caricatures. Don Pirlone was the name of a familiar character
in Italian comedy and farce. The pictures in this work abundantly
justify the encomiums of Professor Norton and Mr. Story, who both
pronounce them to be full of spirit and vigor, proving that the satiric
fire of the early pasquinades is not extinguished.

[Illustration: He has begun the Service with Mass, and completed it with
Bombs. (From _Il Don Pirlone_, Rome, June 15th, 1849.)]

Among the specimens given in this chapter, the reader will not fail to
notice the one that made its appearance in June, 1849, when thirty
thousand French troops, under the command of General Oudinot, were about
to replace upon the heart and brain of Rome the cumbrous, fantastic
Medicine-man of Christendom. This picture, slight as is the impression
which it makes upon us, who can safely smile at the medicine-men of all
climes and tribes, was most eagerly scanned by the outraged people of
Rome, to whom the return of the Medicine-man boded another twenty years
of asphyxia. _Don Pirlone_ was obliged to print extra editions to supply
the demand. The picture exhibits the interior of a church, and the Pope
celebrating mass; General Oudinot assists him, kneeling at the steps of
the altar and holding up the pontifical robes. The bell used at the mass
is in the form of an imperial crown. Surrounding the altar, a crowd of
military officers are seen, and behind them a row of bayonets. The
candles on the altar are in the form of bayonets. The time chosen by the
artist is the supreme moment of the mass, when the celebrant elevates
the host. The image of Christ on the crucifix has withdrawn its arms
from the cross-bars, and covered its face with its hands, as if to shut
the desecration from its sight. Lightning darts from the cross, and a
hissing serpent issues from the wine-cup. On the sole of one of General
Oudinot's boots are the words, _Articolo V. della Constituzione_
(Article V. of the Constitution, _i. e._, the French Constitution),
which declared that "the French Republic never employs its forces
against the liberty of any people." Underneath this fine caricature was
printed: "He began the service with the mass, and completed it with

[Illustration: "But, dear Mr. Undertaker, are you so perfectly sure that
she is dead?"--From _Il Don Pirlone_, Rome, July, 1849.]

Two weeks more of life were vouchsafed to _Il Don Pirlone_ after the
publication of this caricature. On July 2d, 1849, the French army
marched into Rome, and the paper appeared no more. The last number
contained an engraving of Liberty, a woman lying dead upon the earth,
with a cock on a neighboring dunghill crowing, and a French general
covering over the prostrate body. Under the picture was printed: "But,
dear Mr. Undertaker, are you so perfectly sure that she is dead?"

These were certainly vigorous specimens of satiric art, and increase
both our wonder and our regret at the mental degradation of the
beautiful countries of Southern Europe. They increase our wonder, I say,
because the ascendency of priests in a nation is more an effect than a
cause of degeneracy. When the canker-worm takes possession of a New
England orchard, and devours every germ and green leaf, covering all the
trees with loathsome blight, it is not because the canker-worm there is
more vigorous or deadly than on the next farm, but because the soil of
the blasted orchard is wanting in some ingredient or condition needful
for the vigorous life of fruit-trees. It is not priests, beggars, and
banditti that _make_ Mexico, Peru, Italy, and Spain what we find them.
Priests, beggars, and banditti are but the vermin whose natural prey is
a low moral and mental life; and hence the wonder that Italy, so long a
prey to such, should still produce originating minds.

Other caricatures in _Il Don Pirlone_ were remarkable. The alliance
between Austria and France in May, 1849, suggested a picture called "A
Secret Marriage," which was also a church scene, the altar bearing the
words "_Ad minorem Dei gloriam_" ("To the _lesser_ glory of God"), a
parody of the words adopted by the Inquisition, "_Ad majorem Dei
gloriam_." The Pope is marrying the bridal pair, who kneel at a
desk--the groom, a French officer with a cock's head, and for a crest an
imperial crown; the bride, a woman with long robes, and on her head the
Austrian double eagle. Upon the desk are an axe, a whip, a skull, and

[Illustration: Bomba at Supper. Effect of Impressions. (From _Il Don
Pirlone_, Rome, May, 1849.)]

Mr. Norton describes another, called the "Wandering Jew." "Flying to the
verge of Europe, where the Atlantic washes the shores of Portugal, is
seen the tall figure of the unhappy Carlo Alberto, driven by skeleton
ghosts, over whose heads shine stars with the dates 1821, 1831, 1848. In
the midst of the sky, before the fugitive, are the flaming words '_A
Carignano Maledizione Eterna!_' ('Cursed be Carignano forever!') to
which a hand, issuing from the clouds, points with extended forefinger.
The grim and threatening skeletons, the ghosts of those whom Carignano
had betrayed, the tormented look of the flying king, the malediction in
the heavens, the solitude of the earth and the sea, display a
concentrated power of imagination rare in art."

The ruling theme of these powerful sketches is the foul union of priest
and king for the common purpose of spoiling fair Italy. The moral of the
work might be summed up in the remark of an Italian soldier whom Mr.
Norton met one day near Rome. "Are the roads quiet now?" asked the
American traveler. "Ah, excellency," replied the man, "the poor must
live, and the winter is hard, and there is no work!" "But how was the
harvest?" "Small enough, signore! There is no grain at Tivoli, and no
wine; and as for the olives, a thousand trees have not given the worth
of a _bajocco_." "And what does the Government do for the poor?"
"Nothing, nothing at all." "And the priests?" "_Eh!_ They live well,
always well; they have a good time in this world--but?"

[Illustration: "Such is the Love of Kings." (From _Il Don Pirlone_,
Rome, 1849.)]

One striking picture in _Il Don Pirlone_ represents Italy in the form of
a huge military boot lying prostrate on the earth, with Liberty half
astride of it, holding a broom. She has just knocked off the boot a
French general, who lies on the ground with his hat at some distance
from him, and she has raised her broom to give a second blow. But at
that critical moment, the Pope thrusts his hands from a cloud, seizes
the broom, and holds it back. Inside the boot is seen ambushed a
cardinal with two long daggers, waiting to strike Liberty to the heart
when she shall be disarmed. Underneath is printed: "Impediments to

In a similar spirit was conceived a picture called "A Modern Synod,"
which reflected upon the diplomatic conference in Belgium on Italian
affairs between the representatives of Austria, France, and England.
There sits Italy in the council-chamber, bound and naked to the waist,
for the scourge. At the table are seated, Austria, with head of double
eagle; France, with a cock's head and crest, but a woman's bosom and
extremely low-necked dress; and England, with a head compounded of
unicorn and donkey. Underneath the table are the Pope and King Bomba,
with hidden scourges, only waiting for the conference to end to resume
their congenial task of lashing helpless Italy.

[Illustration: Mr. Punch.]

A terrific picture is one representing the Pope with a scourge in his
hand, riding high in the air over Rome, mounted upon a hideous flying
dragon with four heads. One of the heads is Austria's double eagle;
another, the Gallic cock; the third, Spain; the fourth, Bomba. The papal
crown is carried in the coil of the monster's forked tail. Under the
picture are words signifying "Such is the love of kings!"

Imagine endless variations upon this theme in _Il Don Pirlone_, executed
invariably with force, and sometimes with a power that, even at this
distance of time, rouses the soul.

Laying aside the caricatures of the Revolution, of which considerable
volumes have been collected, I may say a word or two of the comic
entertainment that has now become universal, Punch, which, if Italy did
not originate it, received there its modern form and character. Punch is
now exhibited daily in every civilized and semi-civilized land or
earth--in China, Siam, India, Japan, Tartary, Russia, Egypt, everywhere.
A New York traveler, well known both for the extent of his journeys and
for the excellent use he has made of them, tells me that he saw, not
long ago, a performance of Punch at Cairo, in a tent, in Arabic, a small
coin being charged for admission. The people entered with a grave
demeanor, sat in rows upon the sand, listened to the dialogue without a
smile, and at the close filed out in silence, as if from a solemnity.
The performance was similar to that with which we are acquainted. The
American reader, however, may not be very familiar with the exploits of
Punch, for he has made his way slowly in the New World, and was rarely,
if ever, seen here until within the last ten years.

Much second-hand erudition could be adduced to show that Punch, besides
being universal, dates back to remote antiquity. The bronze figure could
be mentioned which was found at Herculaneum some years ago, with the
Punchian nose and chin; as well as a drawing on the wall of a
guard-house at Pompeii, in which there is a figure costumed like Punch.
Even the name Punch, which some derive from _Paunch_, is supposed by
others to be a corruption of the first name of Pontius Pilate. The
weight of probability favors the conjecture that Punch really did
originate in India, at least three thousand years ago, and came down,
through other Oriental lands, to Greece, part of the stock of traditions
that gather about Bacchus and his comic audacities--jovial and impudent
Vice triumphant over unskillful Virtue. Punch is a brother of Don Juan,
except that Punch is victorious to the very end; and the fable of Don
Juan is among the oldest of human imaginings.

[Illustration: Return of the Pope to Rome. (From _Il Don Pirlone_, Rome,

It is agreed, however, that the Punch of modern European streets is
Neapolitan; and even to this day, as travelers report, nowhere in the
world is the drama of Punch given with such force of drollery as in
Naples. What Mr. D'Israeli, in the "Curiosities of Literature," where
much Punch learning may be found, says of the histrionic ability of the
Italian people, has been often confirmed since his day. He adds an

"Perhaps there never was an Italian in a foreign country, however deep
in trouble, but would drop all remembrance of his sorrows should one of
his countrymen present himself with the paraphernalia of Punch at the
corner of a street. I was acquainted with an Italian, a philosopher and
a man of fortune, residing in England, who found so lively a pleasure in
performing Punchinello's little comedy, that, for this purpose, with
considerable expense and curiosity, he had his wooden company, in all
their costume, sent over from his native place. The shrill squeak of the
tin whistle had the same comic effect on him as the notes of the
_ranz-des-vaches_ have in awakening the tenderness of domestic emotion
in the wandering Swiss. The national genius is dramatic."

Through the joint labors of Mr. George Cruikshank and Mr. Payne Collier,
we now know exactly what the Punchian drama is, as performed by the best
artists. Mr. Cruikshank explains the truly English process by which this
valuable information was obtained:

"Having been engaged by Mr. Prowett, the publisher, to give the various
scenes represented in the street performances of Punch and Judy, I
obtained the address of the proprietor and performer of that popular
exhibition. He was an elderly Italian, of the name of Piccini, whom I
remembered from boyhood, and he lived at a low public-house, the sign of
'The King's Arms,' in the 'Coal-yard,' Drury Lane. Having made
arrangements for a 'morning performance,' one of the window-frames on
the first floor of the public-house was taken out, and the stand, or
Punch's theatre, was hauled into the 'Club-room.' Mr. Payne Collier (who
was to write the description), the publisher, and myself, formed the
audience; and as the performance went on, I stopped it at the most
interesting parts to sketch the figures, while Mr. Collier noted down
the dialogue; and thus the whole is a faithful copy and description of
the various scenes represented by this Italian."

The drama thus obtained, which has since been published with Mr.
Cruikshank's illustrations, must at least be pronounced the most popular
of all dramatic entertainments past or present. It is now in the
thirtieth century of its "run;" and even the modern Italian version
dates back to the year 1600. It is a rough, wild caricature of human



[Illustration: James Gillray.]

James Gillray, though the favorite caricaturist of London before the
beginning of our century, did not reach the full development of his
talent until the later extravagancies of Napoleon Bonaparte gave him
subjects so richly suggestive of burlesque. Even at this late day, when
we have it in our power to know the infinite mischief done to our race
by such perjured charlatans as Bonaparte, it is difficult to read some
of his bulletins and messages without bursts of laughter--the imitation
of known models is so childish, and they reveal so preposterous an
ignorance of every thing that the ruler of a civilized country ought to
know. After giving London a long series of caricatures of the French
Revolution and of the English fermentation that followed it, Gillray
fell upon Napoleon, and exhibited the ludicrous aspects of the man and
his doings with a comic fertility and effectiveness rarely equaled.
True, he knew very little either of the Revolution or of
Bonaparte--England knew little--but while all well-informed and humane
persons have forgiven the excesses of the Revolutionary period, or laid
the blame at the door of the real culprits, the world is coming round to
the view of Napoleon Bonaparte which the caricaturist gave seventy years
ago. If I were asked to name the best five caricatures produced since
Hogarth, one of the five would be James Gillray's "Tiddy-Doll, the Great
French Gingerbread Baker drawing out a New Batch of Kings;" and another,
a picture by the same artist, "King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver"
ridiculing Napoleon's scheme of invading England in 1803. Both are
masterpieces of satiric art in what we may justly style the English
style; _i. e._, the style which amuses every body and wounds nobody,
not even the person satirized.

[Illustration: Tiddy-Doll, the Great French Gingerbread Baker, drawing
out a New Batch of Kings. His Man, Hopping Talley, mixing up the Dough.
(Gillray, 1806.)]

Born in 1757, when Hogarth had still seven years to live, the son of a
valiant English soldier who left an arm in Flanders, James Gillray
belongs more to the old school of caricaturists than to the new. Many of
his works could not now be exhibited; nor was Gillray superior in moral
feeling to the time in which he lived. He flattered the pride and the
prejudices of John Bull. In a deep-drinking age, his own habits were
excessively convivial; were such as to shorten his life, after having
impaired his reason. He was, nevertheless, for a period of twenty years
the favorite caricaturist of his country, and a very large number of his
works are in all respects admirable. The reader will remark that
Gillray, like most of his countrymen, was not acquainted with the
countenance of Napoleon, and could, therefore, only give the popularly
accepted portrait. His likenesses generally are excellent.

Among the crowds of laughing English boys who hailed every new picture
issued by Gillray during the last ten years of his career was one named
George Cruikshank, still living and honored among his countrymen in
1877. Him we may justly style the founder of the new school--the
virtuous school--of comic art, which accords so agreeably with the
humaner civilization which has been stealing over the world of late
years, and particularly since the suppression of Bonaparte in 1815. On
page 270 is a picture of his executed in his eightieth year, a proof of
the steadiness of hand and alertness of mind which reward a temperate
and honorable life even in extreme old age. This picture was both drawn
and engraved by his own hand to please one of his oldest American
friends, Mr. J. W. Bouton, of New York, long concerned in collecting and
distributing his works among us. Here, then, is a living artist whose
first handling of the etching-tool dates back almost three-quarters of a
century. Mr. Reid, the keeper of prints and drawings in the British
Museum, has been at the pains to make a catalogue of the works of George
Cruikshank. The number of entries in this catalogue is five thousand two
hundred and sixty-five, many of which comprise extensive series of
drawings, so that the total number of his pictures probably exceeds
twenty thousand--about one picture for every working-day during the
productive part of his career.

[Illustration: The Threatened Invasion of England, 1804. (Gillray.)

(The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver. _Scene_--Gulliver manoeuvring
with his little boat in the cistern.--_Vide_ Swift's "Gulliver.")

"I often used to row for my own diversion, as well as that of the queen
and her ladies, who thought themselves well entertained with my skill
and agility. Sometimes I would put up my sail and show my art by
steering starboard and larboard. However, my attempts produced nothing
else besides a loud laughter, which all the respect due to his majesty
from those about him could not make them contain. This made me reflect
how vain an attempt it is for a man to endeavor to do himself honor
among those who are out of all degree of equality or comparison with

[Illustration: The Bibliomaniac. (George Cruikshank, 1871.)]

There is perhaps no gift so likely to be transmitted from father to son
as a talent for drawing. Certainly it runs in the Cruikshank family, for
there are already five of the name known to collectors, much to their
confusion. As a guide to Mr. Reid in the preparation of his catalogue,
the old gentleman made a brief statement, which is one of the
curiosities of art gossip, and it may serve a useful purpose to
collectors in the United States. His father, Isaac Cruikshank, was a
designer and etcher and engraver, as well as a water-color draughtsman.
His brother, Isaac Robert, a miniature and portrait painter, was also a
designer and etcher, and "your humble servant likewise a designer and
etcher. When I was a mere boy," he adds, "my dear father kindly allowed
me to play at etching on some of his copper-plates, little bits of
shadows or little figures in the background, and to assist him a little
as I grew older, and he used to assist _me_ in putting in hands and
faces. And when my dear brother Robert (who in his latter days omitted
the Isaac) left off portrait-painting, and took almost entirely to
designing and etching, I assisted him, at first to a great extent, in
some of his drawings." The result was that, in looking over the pictures
of sixty years ago, he could not always tell his own work; and, to make
matters worse, his brother left a son, Percy Cruikshank, also a
draughtsman and engraver, and he, too, has an artist son, named George.
The family has provided work for the coming connoisseur.

The glory of the living veteran, however, will remain unique, because
he, first of the comic artists of his country, caught the new spirit,
avoided the grossness and thoughtless one-sidedness of his predecessors,
and used his art in such a manner that now, in his eighty-fourth year,
looking back through the long gallery of his works gathered by the
affectionate persistence of his admirers, he can not point to one
picture which for any moral reason he could wish to turn to the wall.

England owes much to her humorists of the new humane school. She owes,
perhaps, more than she yet perceives, because the changes which they
promote in manners and morals come about slowly and unmarked. It is the
American revisiting the country after many years of absence who
perceives the ameliorations which the satiric pencil and pen have
conjointly produced; nor are those ameliorations hidden from the
American who treads for the first time the fast-anchored isle. It is
with a peculiar rapturous recognition that we hail every indication of
that England with which English art and literature have made us
acquainted--a very different country indeed from the England of
politics and the newspaper. A student who found himself one fine Sunday
morning in June gliding past the lovely Hampshire coast, covered with
farms, lawns, and villas, gazed in silence for a long time, and could
only relieve his mind at last by gasping, "Thomson's 'Seasons?'" His
first glance revealed to him, what he had never before suspected, that
the rural poetry of England applied in a particular manner to the land
that inspired it, could have been written only there, and only there
could be quite appreciated. From Chaucer to Tennyson there is not a
sterling line in it which could have been what it is if it had been
composed in any part of the Western continent. We have a flower which we
call a daisy, a weed coarsened by our fierce sun, betraying barrenness
of soil, and suggestive of careless culture. There is also to be seen in
our windows and greenhouses a flower named the primrose, which, though
it has its merit, has not been celebrated by poets, nor is likely to be.
But the instant we see an English road-side bright with primroses and
daisies, we find ourselves saying, "Yes, of course; _these_ are what the
poets mean; _this_ is the daisy of Shakspeare and Burns; _here_ is
Wordsworth's yellow primrose!" And we go on holding similar discourse
with ourselves as often as we descry the objects, at once familiar and
unknown, which in every age the poets of Great Britain have loved to

[Illustration: Hope--A Phrenological Illustration. (George Cruikshank,

But when, in these recent days, the same traveler observes the human
life of English streets and homes and public places, he does not
perceive so exact a resemblance to the life portrayed in books and
pictures. English life seems gentler and better than it was represented
forty years ago; manners are freer and more cordial; people are less
intemperate; the physical life is much less obstreperous; the topics
discussed have a more frequent relation to the higher interests of human
nature. The glory of the last generation was held to be Waterloo; the
distinction of the present one is a peaceful arbitration. The six-bottle
men of Sheridan's time--where are they? Gone, quite gone. _One_ bottle
is now almost as unusual as it is excessive. Gone is the coach, with its
long train of barbarisms--its bloated Wellers, its coachmen who
swallowed "an imperial pint of vinegar" with their oysters without
winking, its mountainous landlord skillful in charging, its general
horseyness and cumbersome inconvenience. The hideous prize-fight seems
finally suppressed. If there are still estates upon which there are
family cottages of one room, they are held in horror, and it is an axiom
accepted that the owner who permits them to remain is a truer savage
than the most degraded peasants who inhabit them.

Art, humanizing art, has reached a development which a dreamer of
Hogarth's day could not have anticipated for any period much short of
the millennium; and not a development only, but a wide diffusion.
Chadband--where is he? If he exists, he has assumed a less offensive
form than when he ate muffins and sniveled inanity in Mrs. Snagsby's
back room. Where are Thackeray's snobs? They, too, have not ceased to
be, for the foible which he satirized is an integral part of human
nature, which can be ennobled, not eradicated. Strangers, however, do
not often observe those violent and crude manifestations of it which
Thackeray describes; and there seems a likelihood of the "Book of Snobs"
meeting the fate of Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations," which made itself
obsolete by accomplishing its purposes. Beer still flows redundant in
every part of the British Empire. Nevertheless, there is here and there
a person who has discovered how much more can be got out of life by
avoiding stimulation. A decided advance must have been made toward
tolerance of opinion when men can be borne to honorable burial in
Westminster Abbey whose opinions were at variance with those which built
and sustain the edifice. Chadbandom feebly protests, but no man regards

[Illustration: Term Time. (George Cruikshank, 1827.)]

There are men still alive who remember the six-bottle period and all its
strenuous vulgarities, the period when the whole strength of the empire
was put forth in the Bonaparte wars. William Chambers, who was born when
George Cruikshank was a boy of eight, speaks of those years as a time of
universal violence. Children, ruled by violence at home and by cruelty
at school, pummeled and bullied one another in turn, besides practicing
habitual cruelty toward birds and beasts, hunting cats, pelting dogs,
plundering birds' nests. He tells us of a carter who used to turn out
his horses to die on the common of his native town, where the boys, in
the sight of the people, and without being admonished by them, would
daily amuse themselves by stoning the helpless creatures till they had
battered the life out of them. The news that roused the people was all
of bloodshed on land and sea. The only pleasures that were held to be
entirely worthy of men were hard riding and deep drinking. Those diaries
of persons who flourished in the first half of George Cruikshank's life,
of which so many volumes have been published lately--those, for example,
of Moore, Greville, Jerdan, and Young--what are they but a monotonous
record of dinner anecdotes? Marryat's novels preserve a popular
exhibition of that fighting age, and we perceive from his memoirs that
he did not exaggerate its more savage characteristics. Several of his
most brutal incidents were transcripts from his own experience.

Comic art, which the amelioration of manners has purified, has done much
in its turn to strengthen and diffuse that amelioration. Isaac
Cruikshank was among the last of the old school. He seems to have kept
his pencil on hire, for we have caricatures of his on all sides of the
politics of his time, from conservative to radical. In 1795 he
represented William Pitt as the royal extinguisher putting out the flame
of sedition; but in 1797 he exhibited the same minister in the character
of a showman deceiving the people with regard to the condition of the
country. "Observe," says "Billy," "what a busy scene presents itself.
The ports are filled with shipping, riches are flowing in from every
quarter." But the countrymen standing around declare that they can see
nothing but "a woide plain with some mountains and mole-hills upon't,"
and conjecture that the fine things which Billy sees must be behind one
of the mole-hills. During the same year we find him caricaturing Fox,
the leader of the Opposition, as having laid a train for the purpose of
blowing up the Constitution, and then leaving to others the risk of
touching it off. On both sides of the Irish questions of his day he
employed his pencil, ridiculing in some pictures the Irish discontents,
and in others the measures proposed by ministers for quieting them. When
the old king was losing his reason, he drew him as a "farthing
rush-light," around which were the Prince of Wales, Fox, Sheridan, and
their friends, all trying to blow out the flickering flame. At length,
in 1810, he caricatured the Burdett riots in a manner to please the most
"advanced" radical. This picture, however, may have been a tribute to
the mere audacity of the member for Westminster, who barricaded his
house for four days against the officers of the House of Commons ordered
to arrest him.

It was while Isaac Cruikshank was occasionally drawing such caricatures
as these that he "kindly allowed" his son George, "a mere boy," to "play
at etching on some of his copper-plates." The first real work done by
the lad was of a very modest character, but he speaks of them in a way
to make us regret that even they should have been lost. "Many of my
first productions, such as half-penny lottery books and books for little
children, can never be known or seen, having been destroyed long, long
ago by the dear little ones who had them to play with."

Men who write so of little children that tore up their picture-books
seventy years before are not formed for the strife of politics. George
Cruikshank early in life withdrew from political caricature, but not
before he had executed a few pictures of which he might reasonably boast
in his old age, after time had justified their severity. This aged
artist, who has lived to see the laws repealed which restricted the
importation of grain into England, was just coming of age when those
laws were passed, and he expressed his opinion of them in a caricature
called "The Blessings of Peace; or, The Curse of the Corn Bill." It was
in 1815--the year that consigned Bonaparte to St. Helena, and gave peace
to Europe. A vessel laden with grain has arrived from a foreign port,
and the supercargo, holding out a handful, says, "Here is the best for
fifty shillings." But on the shore stands a store-house filled with
home-grown grain, tight shut, in front of which is a group of British
land-owners, one of whom waves the foreign trader away, saying: "We
won't have it at any price. We are determined to keep up our own to
eighty shillings, and if the poor can't buy it at that price, why, they
must starve." The foreign grain is thrown overboard, while a starving
family looks on, and the father says, "No, no, masters, I'll not starve,
but quit my native country, where the poor are crushed by those they
labor to support, and retire to one more hospitable, and where the arts
of the rich do not interpose to defeat the providence of God."

Such is the Protective System: an interested few, having the ear of the
Government, thriving at the expense of the many who have not the ear of
the Government! This young man saw the point in 1815 as clearly as
Cobden, Peel, or Mill in 1846.

In the same year he aimed a caricature at the ministry who took off the
income tax, and lessened the taxes upon property without diminishing
those which bore more directly upon the poor. Many pictures in a similar
spirit followed; but while he was still a young man he followed the bent
of his disposition, and has ever since employed his pencil in what his
great master Hogarth once styled "moral comedies," wherein humor appears
as the ally and teacher of morals.

John Doyle, who reigned next in the shop-windows of Great Britain, and
continued to bear sway for twenty years--1829 to 1849--was not known by
name to the generation which he amused. It chanced one day that two I's,
in a printing-office where he was, stood close to two D's, and he
observed that the conjunction formed a figure resembling HB. He adopted
this as the mark or signature of his caricatures, and consequently he
was always spoken of as H. B. down to the time of his death, which
occurred about the year 1869. He, too, shared the spirit of the better
time. Collectors number his published caricatures at nine hundred and
seventeen, which have been re-issued in eleven volumes; but in none of
his works is there any thing of the savage vulgarity of the caricatures
produced during the Bonaparte wars. It was a custom with English
print-sellers to keep port-folios of his innocent and amusing pictures
to let out by the evening to families about to engage in the arduous
work of entertaining their friends at dinner. He excelled greatly in his
portraits, many of which, it is said by contemporaries, are the best
ever taken of the noted men of that day, and may be safely accepted as
historical. Brougham, Peel, O'Connell, Hume, Russell, Palmerston, and
others appear in his works as they were in their prime, with little
distortion or exaggeration, the humor of the pictures being in the
situation portrayed. Thus, after a debate in which allusion was made to
an ancient egg anecdote, HB produced a caricature in which the leaders
of parties were drawn as hens sitting upon eggs. The whole interest of
the picture lies in the speaking likenesses of the men. An air of
refinement pervades his designs. His humor is not aggressive. It was
remarked at the time in the _Westminster Review_ that the great hits of
Gillray, on being put up for the first time in Mrs. Humphrey's window,
were received by the crowd with shouts of approval, but that the
kindlier humor of HB only elicited silent smiles.

[Illustration: Box in a New York Theatre in 1830.

"I observed in the front row of a dress box a lady performing the most
maternal office possible, several gentlemen without their coats, and a
general air of contempt for the decencies of life, certainly more than
usually revolting."--MRS. TROLLOPE, _Domestic Manners of the Americans_,
vol. ii., p. 194.]

Doubtless the war passion that raged throughout Christendom in Gillray's
day had much to do with the warmth of applause which his works called
forth. But, in truth, the vulgar portion of mankind appear to have a
certain relish of an effective thrust, no matter who may writhe. HB was
seldom severer than in his picture called "Handwriting on the Wall," in
which "Silly Billy" (as William IV. was familiarly styled) is seen
reading a placard headed "Reform Bill," and muttering, "Reform _Bill_?
Can that mean me?" Most of his pieces turn upon incidents or phases of
politics which would require many words to recall, and then scarcely
interest a reader of to-day. A caricature, as before remarked, is made
to be seen; it is a thing of the moment, and for the moment, and when
that moment is passed, it must be of exceptional quality to bear revival
in words.

Seeing caricatures from childhood has induced a habit in many persons of
surveying life in the spirit of caricature, and has developed some
tolerable private wielders of the satiric pencil. Mrs. Trollope was,
perhaps, a case in point. Her volumes upon the "Domestic Manners of the
Americans," the literary sensation of 1832, were illustrated by a dozen
or more of very amusing caricatures, some of which were fair hits, and
were of actual service in improving popular manners. There are persons
still alive who remember hearing the cry of "Trollope! Trollope!" raised
in our theatres when a man ventured to take off his coat on a hot night,
or sat with his feet too high in the air.[39] Her whole work, pictures
and all, was a purposed political caricature, as she frankly confesses
in her preface, where she says that her chief object was to warn her
countrymen of "the jarring tumult and universal degradation which
invariably follow the wild scheme of placing all the power of the State
in the hands of the populace." She was, besides, exceedingly
uncomfortable during her three years' residence in the United States,
except when she was so happy as to be served by slaves. "On entering a
slave State," she remarks, "I was immediately comfortable and at my
ease, and felt that the intercourse between me and those who served me
was profitable to both parties and painful to neither."

[Footnote 39: "In the pit [of the Chatham Theatre, New York] persons
pulled off their coats in order to be cool.... Gentlemen keep their hats
on in the boxes, and in the pit they make themselves in every respect
comfortable."--_Travels through North America during the Years 1825 and
1826_, p. 145, by his Highness Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.]

Besides the specimen of her caricaturing powers given in this chapter,
there are several others which have, at least, some interest as
curiosities of insular judgment. Mrs. Trollope, the daughter of a
clergyman of the English Church, and the wife of an English lawyer of
aristocratic family, entered the United States, in 1827, by the
Mississippi, and spent a year or two in its newly settled valley. She
saw the Western people engaged in a life-and-death struggle with untamed
nature--the forest, wild men and beasts, the swamp, the flood, the
fever, a trying climate, and interminable distances. A partial conquest
had been won. Some fair towns had risen. A few counties were subdued.
The log school-house was a familiar object. To a mind of continental
compass, although Western life was still rough, rude, and haggard, the
prospect was hopeful; it was evident that civilization was winning the
day, and was destined, in the course of a century or two, to make the
victory complete. The worst that a person of liberal mind could say, or
can now say, of such a scene, would be this: "See what it costs to
transplant human families from the parish to the wilderness!"

Even cabbage plants wither when only transferred from the hot-bed to the
garden; but the transplanting of families from the organized society of
an old country to a wild new land is a process under which all sicken,
many degenerate, and many die.

[Illustration: Seymour's Conception of Mr. Winkle before that Hunter
appeared in "Pickwick." (Seymour's Sketches, 1834.)

"Vot, eighteen shillings for that ere little pig? Vy, I could buy it in
town for seven any day!"]

Our curate's daughter, on the contrary, after a long and close survey of
this interesting scene, could only discover that life on the banks of
the Ohio, in the twentieth year of their settlement, was neither as
pleasant, nor as graceful, nor as elegant, nor as clean, nor as
convenient as it is in an English village; and this discovery she
communicated to the world in two volumes, 12mo, with sixteen
illustrations, very much to the satisfaction of many English readers.
This worthy and gifted lady, mother of worthy and gifted children, was
utterly baffled in her attempts to account for the rudeness of Western
life. Provisions, she says, were abundant in Cincinnati, as many as four
thousand pigs being advertised sometimes by one man. The very gutters of
the town ran blood--the blood of cheap innumerable swine. But "the total
and universal want of manners, both in males and females, is so
remarkable that I was constantly endeavoring to account for it." The
people, she thought, had clear and active intellects; their conversation
was often weighty and instructive, occasionally dull, but never silly.
What an unaccountable thing, then, it was that these dealers in the pig
and slayers of the bear, these subduers of the wilderness and conquerors
of Tecumseh, should not bow with courtly grace, and converse with the
elegance and ease of Holland House! "There is no charm, no grace, in
their conversation," she laments. "I very seldom, during my whole stay
in the country, heard a sentence elegantly turned and correctly
pronounced from the lips of an American."

Such a thing it is to be brought up in an island! Her volumes, however,
are to this day entertaining, and not devoid of historical value. There
is here and there a passage which some of us could still read with
profit, and her misinterpretations are not much more insular and
perverse than those of Dickens. No one, indeed, yet knows much of this
mystery of transplanting, in which lies hidden the explanation of

Her first caricature, entitled "Ancient and Modern Republics," is in two
scenes. An Ancient Republic is represented as a noble Greek, crowned
with flowers, reclining upon a lounge, one hand resting upon the strings
of a lyre, and the other gracefully holding up a beautiful cup, into
which a lovely maiden is squeezing the juice from a luxuriant bunch of
grapes. A Modern Republic figures as a Western bar-room politician, with
his hat over his eyes, his heels upon the table, a tumbler in his hand,
a decanter within reach, and a plug of tobacco at its side. We have next
a picture of a "Philosophical Millinery Store" at New Orleans, in which
Mrs. Trollope delineated an astounding event--"My being introduced _in
form_ to a milliner!" She, a curate's daughter, introduced to a maker of
bonnets, who actually proved to be a gifted and intelligent lady! A
"Cincinnati Ball-room" reveals to us twenty-two ladies sitting close to
the walls, the floor vacant, and all the men gormandizing at a table in
the next room, leaving the ladies to a "sad and sulky repast" of trash
in plates held on their laps. Then we are favored with a view of a young
lady who is making a shirt, but is ashamed to pronounce the name of the
garment in the presence of a man, and calls it pillow-case. Whereupon he
says, "Now that passes, Miss Clarissa! 'Tis a pillow-case for a giant,
then. Shall I guess, miss?" To which she sweetly replies, "Quit, Mr.
Smith; behave yourself, or I'll certainly be affronted."

Another picture represents some ladies about to enter a gallery of art
at Philadelphia, in which were exhibited several antique statues. The
old woman in attendance says: "Now, ma'am, _now_! this is just the time
for you. Nobody can see you. Make haste!" Mrs. Trollope stared at her
with astonishment, and asked her what she meant. "Only, ma'am," was the
reply, "that the ladies like to go into _that_ room by themselves, when
there be no gentlemen watching them." Another picture presents to us an
American citizen of "the highest standing" returning from market at 6
A.M. with a huge basket of vegetables on one arm and a large ham carried
in the other hand. A still more marvelous picture is given. Mr. Owen,
father of Robert Dale Owen, challenged debate on his assertion that all
the religions ever promulgated were equally false and pernicious. A
clergyman having accepted the challenge, the debate was continued during
fifteen sessions. But what amazed Mrs. Trollope was that Mr. Owen was
listened to with respect! Nothing was thrown at him. The benches were
not torn up. Another marvel was that neither of the disputants lost his
temper, but they remained excellent friends, and dined together every
day with the utmost gayety and cordiality. All this must have seemed
strange indeed to the doting daughter of a State Church whose belief was
regulated by act of Parliament.

[Illustration: Probable Suggestion of the Fat Boy of the "Pickwick
Papers." (Seymour's Sketches, 1834.)

"Walked twenty miles overnight; up before peep o' day again; got a
capital place; fell fast asleep; tide rose up to my knees; my hat was
changed, my pockets pick't, and a fish run away with my hook; dreamt of
being on a polar expedition and having my toes frozen."]

A famous contemporary of John Doyle and Mrs. Trollope was Robert
Seymour, who will be long remembered for his co-operation with Charles
Dickens in the production of the first numbers of "Pickwick." Nothing
can be more certain than that this unfortunate artist, who died by his
own hand just before the second number of the work was issued, did
actually suggest the idea which the genius of Dickens developed into the
"Pickwick Papers." While Dickens was still in the reporters' gallery of
the House of Commons, Seymour had attained a shop-window celebrity by a
kind of picture of which the English people seem never to be able to get
enough--caricatures of Londoners attempting country sports. It appears
to be accepted as an axiom in England that a man capable of conducting
business successfully becomes an absurd and ludicrous object the moment
he gets upon a horse or fires at a bird. It seems to be taken for
granted that horsemanship and hunting belong to the feudal system, and
are strictly entailed in county families. But as a man is supposed to
rank in fashionable circles according to his mastery of those arts,
great numbers of young men, it seems, live but to attempt feats
impossible except to inherited skill. Here is the field for such artists
as Robert Seymour, "For whose use," as Mr. Dickens wrote, "I put in Mr.
Winkle expressly," and who drew "that happy portrait of the founder of
the Pickwick Club by which he is always recognized, and which may be
said to have made him a reality." Perhaps as many as a third of the
comic pictures published at that period were in the Winkle vein.

[Illustration: MANNERS and CVSTOMS of ye ENGLYSHE in 1849


(Richard Doyle, 1849.)]

Upon looking over the sketches of Robert Seymour, which used to appear
from time to time in the windows--price threepence--while Boz was
getting _his_ "Sketches" through the press, we perceive that Dickens
really derived fruitful hints from this artist, besides the original
suggestion of the work. Mr. Winkle is recognizable in several of them;
Mr. Pickwick's figure occurs occasionally; the Fat Boy is distinctly
suggested; the famous picnic scene is anticipated; and there is much in
the spirit of the pictures to remind us that among the admiring crowd
which they attracted, the author of "Pickwick" might often have been
found. Seymour, however, gave him only hints. In every instance he has
made the suggested character or incident absolutely his own. Seymour
only supplied a piece of copper, which the alchemy of genius turned into
gold. In Dickens's broadest and most boisterous humor there are ever a
certain elegance and refinement of tone that are wanting in Seymour,
Seymour's cockney hunters being persons of the Tittlebat Titmouse grade,
who long ago ceased to amuse and began to offend.

Seymour's discovery, in the first numbers of "Pickwick," that it was the
author, not the artist, who was to dominate a work which was his own
conception and long-cherished dream, was probably among the causes of
his fatal despair. When he first mentioned to Chapman & Hall his scheme
of a Cockney Club ranging over England, he was a popular comic artist of
several years' standing, and Charles Dickens was a name unknown. Nor was
it supposed to be of so very much consequence who should write the
descriptive matter. The firm closed the bargain with Mr. Seymour without
having bestowed a thought upon the writer; and when they had suggested
the unknown "Boz," and procured a copy of his "Sketches" by way of
recommendation, Mrs. Seymour's remark was that, though she could not see
any humor in his writings herself, yet he might do as well as another,
and fifteen pounds a month to a poor and struggling author would be a
little fortune. To a sensitive and ambitious man, made morbid by various
hard usage such as the men who delight the world often undergo, it must
have been a cutting disappointment to be asked, in the infancy of an
enterprise which he deemed peculiarly his own, to put aside an
illustration that he had prepared, and make another to suit the fancies
of a subordinate. It was like requiring a star actor to omit his
favorite and most special "business" in order to afford a member of the
company an opportunity to shine.

The biographer of Mr. Dickens is naturally reluctant to admit the social
insignificance in London, forty years ago, of a "struggling author," and
he is grossly abusive of Mr. N. P. Willis for describing his hero as he
appeared at this stage of his career. Mr. Willis visited him at a dismal
building in Holborn, in company with one of Mr. Dickens's publishers,
and he gave a brief account of what he saw, which doubtless was the
exact truth. Willis was a faithful chronicler of the minutiæ of a scene.
He was a stickler for having the small facts correct. "We pulled up," he
wrote, "at the entrance of a large building used for lawyers' chambers.
I followed by a long flight of stairs to an upper story, and was ushered
into an uncarpeted and bleak-looking room, with a deal table, two or
three chairs, and a few books, a small boy and Mr. Dickens, for the
contents. I was only struck at first with one thing (and I made a
memorandum of it that evening as the strongest instance I had seen of
English obsequiousness to employers)--the degree to which the poor
author was overpowered with the honor of his publisher's visit." He
describes Dickens as dressed rather in the Swiveller style, though
without Richard's swell look: hair close cropped, clothes jaunty and
scant, "the very personification of a close sailer to the wind." There
is nothing in this discreditable to the "poor author," and nothing which
a person who knew London then would deem improbable. Is it not a
principle imbedded in the constitution of Britons that the person who
receives money in small amounts for work and labor done is the party
obliged, and must stand hat in hand before him who pays it?

Whoever shall truly relate the history of the people of Great Britain in
the nineteenth century will not pass by in silence the publication of
"Pickwick." Cruikshank, Seymour, and Irving, as well as the humorists of
other times, had nourished and molded the genius of Dickens; but, like
all the masters in art, he so far transcended his immediate teachers
that, even in what he most obviously derived from them, he was original.
And it is he, not they, who is justly hailed as the founder of that
benign school of comic art which gives us humor without coarseness, and
satire without ill nature. It is "Pickwick" that marks the era, and the
sole interest which Seymour's sketches now possess is in showing us from
what Charles Dickens departed when he founded the Pickwick Club.



[Illustration: The Boy who chalked up "No Popery!" and then ran
away!--Lord John Russell and the Bill for Preventing the Assumption of
Ecclesiastical Titles by Roman Catholics. (John Leech, in _Punch_.)

Explanation by Earl Russell in 1874: "The object of that bill was merely
to _assert_ the supremacy of the Crown. It was never intended to
prosecute.... Accordingly a very clever artist represented me in a
caricature as a boy who had chalked up 'No Popery' upon a wall, and then
ran away. This was a very fair joke.... When my object had been gained,
I had no objection to the repeal of the bill."--_Recollections and
Suggestions_, p. 210.]

One happy consequence of the new taste was the publication of _Punch_,
which has been ever since the chief vehicle of caricature in England. As
long as caricature was a thing of the shop-windows only, its power was
restricted within narrow limits. Since the founding of _Punch_, in 1841,
about two years after the conclusion of the "Pickwick Papers,"
caricature has become an element in periodical literature, from which it
will perhaps never again be separated. And it is the pictures in this
celebrated paper which have prolonged its life to this day. It owes its
success chiefly to artists. There was and is an error in the scheme of
the work which would have been speedily fatal to it but for the
ever-welcome pictures of Richard Doyle, John Leech, John Tenniel, Du
Maurier, and their companions.

[Illustration: John Leech.]

One of the rarest products of the human mind is a joke so good that it
remains good when the occasion that gave rise to it is past. Probably
the entire weekly harvest of wit and humor gathered from the whole earth
would not fill a number of _Punch_ with "good things;" and if it did, no
one could enjoy so many all at once, and the surfeit would sicken and
disgust. The mere sitting-down for the purpose of being funny in a
certain number of lines or pages is death to the comic powers; and hence
it is that a periodical to which nearly the whole humorous talent of
England has contributed is sometimes dull in its reading, and we wonder
if there can be in any quarter of the globe a person so bereft of the
means of entertainment as to get quite through one number. Once or
twice a year, however, _Punch_ originates a joke which goes round the
world, and remains part of the common stock of that countless host who
are indebted to their memory for their jests.

But the pictures are almost always amusing, and often delightful. The
artists have the whole scene of human life, public and private, to draw
from, and they are able by their pencils to vividly reproduce the
occasions that gave birth to their jokes.

[Illustration: Preparatory School for Young Ladies. (John Leech,
"Follies of the Year," London, 1852.)]

In looking over the long series of political caricatures by Leech and
Tenniel, which now go back thirty-three years, we are struck, first of
all, by the simplicity of the means which they usually employ for giving
a comic aspect to the political situation. They reduce cabinet ministers
and other dignitaries many degrees in the social scale, exhibiting them
as footmen, as boys, as policemen, as nurses, as circus performers, so
that a certain comic effect is produced, even if the joke should go no
further. Of late years Mr. Tenniel has often reversed this device with
fine effect by raising mundane personages to celestial rank, and
investing them with a something more than a travesty of grandeur. It is
remarkable how unfailing these simple devices are to amuse. Whether Mr.
Leech presents us with Earl Russell as a small foot-boy covered with
buttons, or Mr. Tenniel endows Queen Victoria with the majestic mien of
Minerva, the public is well pleased, and desires nothing additional but
a few apt words explanatory of the situation. But, simple as these
devices may be, it is only a rarely gifted artist that can use them with
effect. Between the sublime and the ridiculous there is a whole step;
but in comic art there is but a hair's-breadth between the happy and the

Lord Brougham was supposed to be courting the conservatives when Leech
began to caricature. The superserviceable zeal of the ex-chancellor was
hit very happily in a circus scene, in which the Duke of Wellington
figures as the ring-master, Brougham as the clown, and Sir Robert Peel
as the rider. The clown says to the ring-master, "Now, Mr. Wellington,
is there any thing I can run for to fetch--for to come--for to go--for
to carry--for to bring--for to take?" etc. In another picture the same
uneasy spirit, restive under his titled and pensioned nothingness,
appears as "Henry asking for _more_." Again we have him dancing with the
Wool-sack, which is explained by the words, "The Polka, a new Dance,
introducing the old Double Shuffle." And again we see him in a tap-room,
smoking a pipe, with a pot of beer on the table, looking on with
complacency while Mr. Roebuck bullies an Irish member. Brougham says,
"Go it, my little Roebuck! Bless his little heart! _I_ taught him to
bounce like that."

[Illustration: The Quarrel.--England and France. (John Leech, 1845.)

  _Master Wellington._ "You're too good a judge to hit me, you are!"
  _Master Joinville._ "Am I?"
  _Master Wellington._ "Yes, you are."
  _Master Joinville._ "Oh, am I?"
  _Master Wellington._ "Yes, you are."
  _Master Joinville._ "Ha!"
  _Master Wellington._ "Ha!"
        [Moral--_And they don't fight, after all._]]

Russell, Peel, Wellington, O'Connell, and Louis Philippe were other
personages whom Mr. Punch often caricatured at that period of his
existence, and he generally presented them in a manner that still
coincides with public feeling in England, and was probably not
disagreeable to the men themselves at the time. One of Leech's hits was
a picture designed to ridicule certain utterances of the Prince de
Joinville concerning the possible invasion of England in 1845, when some
irritating conduct of the French ministry had been met by Wellington
with good temper and firmness. The prince, as a boy, is "squaring off,"
with a great show of fight, at the duke, who stands with his hands in
his pockets, not defiant, but serene and watchful. This picture is
perfectly in the English taste. Leech liked to show great Britannia as
infinitely able to fight, and not so very unwilling, but firmly resolved
not to do so unless compelled by honor or necessity.

In these sixty-nine volumes of _Punch_ there is much of the history of
our time which words alone could not have preserved. We can trace in
them the progress of ideas, of measures, and of men. The changes in
public feeling are exhibited which enabled Cobden and Peel to strike
from British industry the gilt fetters of protection, for _Punch_ is
only another name for Public Opinion. These pictures have a particular
interest for us, since we are to travel the same road in due time, and
thus, at length, give Great Britain a rival in the markets of the world.
Nothing could be better than Mr. Leech's picture showing Sir Robert Peel
as the "Deaf Postilion." In a debate on the Corn Laws he had said, "I
shall still pursue steadily that course which my conscience tells me I
should take; let you and those opposite pursue what course you think
right." The picture shows us a post-chaise, the body of which has become
detached from the fore-wheels--a mishap which the deaf postilion does
not discover, but goes trotting along as though his horses were still
drawing the load. The chaise, named Protection, is occupied by Tory
lords, who shout in vain to the deaf postilion. Again, we have Disraeli
as a viper biting the file, Sir Robert. Leech continued his effective
support of the movement until the victory was won, when he designed a
monument to the victor, consisting of a pyramid of large cheap loaves of
bread crowned by the name of Peel.

The Puseyite imbecility was as effectively satirized by Leech in 1849 as
the ritualistic imitation has recently been by Tenniel. American slavery
came in for just rebuke. As a retort to "some bunkum" in the American
press in 1848, Mr. Leech drew a picture of Liberty lashing a negro,
while Jonathan, with rifle on his arm, cigar in his mouth, and bottle at
his side, says, "Oh, ain't we a deal better than other folks! I guess
we're a most a splendid example to them thunderin' old monarchies." The
language is wrong, of course; no American ever said "a deal better."
English attempts at American slang are always incorrect. But the satire
was deserved. Leech was far from sparing his own country. Some readers
must remember the pair of pictures by Leech, in 1849, entitled
"Pin-money" and "Needle-money," one exhibiting a young lady's boudoir
filled with luxurious and costly objects, and the other a poor
needle-woman in her garret of desolation, sewing by the light of a
solitary candle upon a shirt for which she is to receive three
half-pence. In a similar spirit was conceived a picture presenting two
objects often seen in agricultural fairs in England--a "Prize Peasant"
and a "Prize Pig:" the first rewarded for sixty years of virtuous toil
by a prize of two guineas, the owner of the fat pig being recompensed by
an award of three guineas.

Toward Louis Napoleon _Punch_ gradually relented. At first Mr. Leech
gave just and strong expression to the world's contempt for that
unparalleled charlatan; but as he became powerful, and seemed to be
useful to Great Britain, _Punch_ treated him with an approach to
respect. A similar change toward Mr. Disraeli is observable. Seldom
during the first fifteen years of his public life was he presented in a
favorable light. Upon his retirement from office in 1853, Leech
satirized his malevolent attacks upon the new ministry very happily by a
picture in which he appears as a crossing-sweeper spattering mud upon
Lord Russell and his colleagues. "Won't give me any thing, won't you?"
says the sweeper: "then take _that_!" Nor did the admirable Leech fail
to mark the public sense of Disraeli's silence during the long debates
upon the bill giving to English Jews some of the rights of citizenship.
In his whole public career there is nothing harder to forgive than that
ignoble and unnecessary abstinence. During the last few years Mr.
Disraeli has won by sheer persistence a certain solidity of position in
English politics, and _Punch_ pays him the respect due to a person who
represents a powerful and patriotic party.

One quality of the _Punch_ caricatures is worthy of particular regard:
they are rarely severe, and never scurrilous. The men for whom Mr. Leech
entertained an antipathy, such as O'Connell, O'Brien, Brougham, and
others, were usually treated in a manner that could not have painfully
wounded their self-love. We observe even in the more incisive works of
Gillray a certain boisterous good-humor that often made their satire
amusing to the men satirized. Mr. Rush, American minister in London in
1818, describes a dinner party at Mr. Canning's, at which the minister
exhibited to his guests albums and scrap-books of caricature in which he
was himself very freely handled. Fox and Burke, we are told, visited the
shop where Gillray's caricatures were sold, and while buying the last
hit at themselves would bandy jests with Mrs. Humphrey, the publisher.
Burke winced a little under the lash, but the robuster and larger Fox
was rarely disturbed, and behaved in the shop with such winning courtesy
that Mrs. Humphrey pronounced him the peerless model of a gentleman.
_Punch_, likewise, does not appear to irritate the men whom he
caricatures. Lord Brougham used to laugh at the exceedingly ugly
countenance given him by Leech, and to say that the artist, unable to
hit his likeness, was obliged to designate him by his checked trousers.
Lord Russell, as we see, does not object to Leech's delineations; and
Palmerston, long a favorite with the _Punch_ artists, may well have been
content with their handsome treatment of him.

During the last fifteen years Mr. Tenniel has oftenest supplied the
political cartoon of _Punch_. His range is not so wide as that of Leech,
but within his range he is powerful indeed. He has produced some
pictures which for breadth, strength, aptness, good feeling, and finish
have rarely been equaled in their kind. He gives us sometimes such an
impression of his power as we fancy Michael Angelo might have done if he
had amused himself by drawings reflecting upon the politics of his time.
If, as the _Quarterly Review_ lately remarked, Tenniel's pictures are
often something less than caricature, being wanting in the exuberant
humor of his predecessors, we can also say that they are frequently much
more than caricature. Mr. Tenniel was an artist of repute, and had
furnished a cartoon for the Westminster Parliament-house before he
became identified with _Punch_.

[Illustration: "Obstructives." (John Tenniel, 1870.)

_Mr. Punch_ (to Bull A 1). "Yes, it's all very well to say 'Go to
school!' How are they to go to school with those people quarreling in
the door-way? Why don't you make 'em 'move on?'"]

In common with John Leech and the ruling class of England generally, Mr.
Tenniel was so unfortunate as to misinterpret the civil war in America.
He was almost as much mistaken as to its nature and significance as some
of our own politicians, who had not his excuse of distance from the
scene. He began well, however. His "Divorce a Vinculo," published in
January, 1861, when the news of the secession of South Carolina reached
England, was too flattering to the North, though correct as to the
attitude of the South. "Mrs. Carolina asserts her Right to 'larrup' her
Nigger" was a rough statement of South Carolina's position, but we can
not pretend that the Northern States objected from any interest they
felt in the colored boy. On the part of the North it was simply a war
for self-preservation. It was as truly such as if Scotland or Ireland,
or both of them, had seceded from England in 1803, when the Peace of
Amiens was broken, and the English people had taken the liberty to
object. Again, Mr. Tenniel showed good feeling in admonishing Lord
Palmerston, when the war had begun, to keep Great Britain neutral.
"Well, Pam," says Mr. Punch to his workman, "of course I shall keep you
on, but you must stick to _peace_-work." Nor could we object to the
picture in May, 1861, of Mr. Lincoln's poking the fire and filling the
room with particles of soot, saying, with downcast look, "What a nice
White House this would be if it were not for the Blacks!"

[Illustration: Jeddo and Belfast; or, A Puzzle for Japan. (John Tenniel,
in _Punch_, 1872.)

_Japanese Embassador._ "Then these people, your Grace, I suppose, are

_Archbishop of Canterbury._ "On the contrary, your Excellency; those are
among our most enthusiastic religionists."]

But from that time to the end of the war all was misapprehension and
perversity. In July, 1861, "Naughty Jonathan," an ill-favored little boy
carrying a toy flag, addresses the majesty of Britain thus: "You
_sha'n't_ interfere, mother--and you ought to be on my side--and it's a
great shame--and I don't care--and you _shall_ interfere--and I won't
have it." During the Mason and Slidell imbroglio the Tenniel cartoons
were not "soothing" to the American mind. "Do what's right, my son,"
says the burly sailor, Jack Bull, to little Admiral Jonathan, "or I'll
blow you out of the water." Again, we have a family dinner scene. John
Bull at the head of the table, and Lord Russell the boy in waiting.
_Enter_ "Captain Jonathan, F.N.," who says, "Jist looked in to see if
thar's any rebels he-arr." Upon which Mr. Bull remarks, "Oh, indeed!
John, look after the plate-basket, and then fetch a policeman." This was
in allusion to a supposed claim on the part of Mr. Seward of a right to
search ships for rebel passengers. Then we have Mr. Lincoln as a "coon"
in a tree, and Colonel Bull aiming his blunderbuss at him. "Air you in
earnest, colonel?" asks the coon. "I am," replies the mighty Bull.
"Don't fire," says the coon; "I'll come down." And accordingly Mason and
Slidell were speedily released. In a similar spirit most of the events
of the war were treated; and when the war had ended, there was still
shown in _Punch_, as in the English press generally, the same curious,
inexplicable, and total ignorance of the feelings of the American
people. What an inconceivable perversity it was to attribute Mr.
Sumner's statement of the damage done to the United States by the
alliance which existed for four years between the owners of England and
the masters of the South to a Yankee grab for excessive damages! In all
the long catalogue of national misunderstandings there is none more
remarkable than this. Mr. Tenniel from the first derided the idea that
any particular damage had been done by the _Alabama_ and her consorts:
certainly there was no damage, he thought, upon which a "claim" could be
founded. "Claim for damages against _me_?" cries big Britannia, in one
of his pictures of October, 1865. "Nonsense, Columbia; don't be mean
over money matters."

[Illustration: "At the Church-gate." (Du Maurier, in _Punch_, 1872.)

"So now you've been to church, Ethel! And which part of it all do you
like best?"

"_This_ part, mamma!"]

All this has now become merely interesting as a curiosity of
misinterpretation. The American people know something of England through
her art, her literature, and press; but England has extremely imperfect
means of knowing us. No American periodical, probably, circulates in
Great Britain two hundred copies. We have no Dickens, no Thackeray, no
George Eliot, no _Punch_, to make our best and our worst familiar in the
homes of Christendom; and what little indigenous literature we have is
more likely to mislead foreigners than enlighten them. Cooper's men,
women, and Indians, if they ever existed, exist no more. Mr. Lowell's
Yankee is extinct. Uncle Tom is now a freeman, raising his own bale of
cotton. Mark Twain and Bret Harte would hardly recognize their own
California. It is the literature, the art, and the science of a country
which make it known to other lands; and we shall have neither of these
in adequate development until much more of the work is done of smoothing
off this rough continent, and educating the people that come to us, at
the rate of a cityful a month, from the continent over the sea. At
present it is nearly as much as we can do to find spelling-books for so

To most Americans the smaller pictures of Leech and others in _Punch_,
which gently satirize the foibles and fashions of the time, are more
interesting than the political cartoons. How different the life of the
English people, as exhibited in these thousands of amusing scenes, from
the life of America! We see, upon turning over a single volume, how much
more the English play and laugh than we do. It is not merely that there
is a large class in England who have nothing to do except to amuse
themselves, but the whole people seem interested in sport, and very
frequently to abandon themselves to innocent pleasures. Here is a young
lady in the hunting field in full gallop, who cries gayly to her
companion, "Come along, Mr. Green; I want a lead at the brook;" which
makes "Mr. Green think that women have no business in hunting." England
generally thinks otherwise, and Mr. Punch loves to exhibit his
countrywomen "in mid-air" leaping a ditch, or bounding across a field
with huntsmen and hounds about them. He does not object to a hunting
parson. A churchwarden meets an "old sporting rector" on the road, and
says, "Tell ye what 'tis, sir, the congregation do wish you wouldn't put
that 'ere curate up in pulpit; nobody can't hear un." To which the old
sporting parson on his pony replies, "Well, Blunt, the fact is,
Tweedler's such a good fellow for parish work, I'm obliged to give him
_a mount_ sometimes." And in the distance we see poor Tweedler trudging
briskly along, umbrella in hand, upon some parish errand. Another
sporting picture shows us three gentlemen at dinner, one of whom is a
clergyman whose mind is so peculiarly constituted that his thoughts run
a little upon the duties of his office. Perhaps he is Tweedler himself.
One of the laymen, a fox-hunter, says to the other, "That was a fine
forty minutes yesterday." The other replies, "Yes; didn't seem so long
either." _Punch_ remarks that "the curate is puzzled, and wonders, do
they refer to his lecture in the school-room?"

[Illustration: An Early Quibble. (Du Maurier, in _Punch_, 1872.)

  _George._ "_There_, Aunt Mary! what do you think of _that_?
     _I_ drew the horse, and Ethel drew the jockey!"
  _Aunt Mary._ "H'm! But what would mamma say to your drawing
     jockeys on a Sunday?"
  _George._ "Ah, but look here! We've drawn him _riding to
     church_, you know!"]

And what a part eating and drinking play in English life and English
art! Every body appears to give dinners occasionally, and all the
dealers in vegetables seem to stand ready to serve as waiters at five
shillings for an evening. Food is a common topic of conversation, and
it is a civility for people to show an interest in one another's
alimentary pleasures. "Glad to see yer feed so beautiful, Mrs. B----,"
remarks a portly host to a corpulent lady, his Christmas guest. "Thank
yer, Mr. J----," says she, with knife and fork at rest and pointing to
the ceiling; "I'm doin' lovely." Again, old Mr. Brown, entertaining
young Mr. Green, says, with emphasis, "That wine, sir, has been in my
cellar four-and-twenty years come last Christmas--four-and-twenty years,
sir!" To which innocent Mr. Green, anxious to say something agreeable,
replies, "Has it really, sir? What must it have been when it was new?"
Little Emily asks her mother, "What is capital punishment?" Master Harry
replies, "Why, being locked up in the pantry! _I_ should consider it
so." Even at the theatres, we may infer from some of the pictures, ale
and porter are handed round between the acts of the play. In one picture
we see two lovers looking upon the sky; poetical Augustus says, "Look,
Edith! how lovely are those fleecy cloudlets, dappled over the--" Edith
(not in a spirit of burlesque) replies, "Yes, 'xactly like gravy when
it's getting cold--isn't it?" Then we have two gentlemen in the
enjoyment of a little dinner, one of a long series given in the absence
of the family at Boulogne. The master of the house receives a telegram.
He reads it, heaves a deep sigh, and says, dolefully, "It's all up!"
Bachelor friend asks, "What's the matter?" Paterfamilias replies,
"Telegram! She says they've arrived safe at Folkestone, and will be
home about 10.30." No more little dinners. Only a wife and children for
comfort. And here are two of Mr. Du Maurier's pretty children eating
slices of bread too thinly spread with jam, and Ethel says, with
thoughtful earnestness, "I dare say the queen and her courtiers eat a
whole pot of jam every day, Harry!" There are many hundreds of pictures
in _Punch_ which show a kind of solemn interest in the repair of wasted
tissue never seen in this country. It is evident that the English have a
deep delight in the act of taking sustenance which is to us unknown. Mr.
Thackeray himself, in speaking of an Englishman's first glass of beer on
returning home from a long journey in other lands, casts his eyes to
heaven and gives way to something like enthusiasm.

[Illustration: John Tenniel.]

Many pictures bring into juxtaposition extremes of civilization rarely
witnessed in America. So many traps are set for ignorance in this
country that a child can scarcely hope to get by them all, and escape
into maturity an absolute dolt. Observe this conversation between a
squire and a villager: "Hobson, they tell me you've taken your boy away
from the national school. What's that for?" "'Cause the master ain't
fit to teach un. He wanted to teach my boy to spell taters with a P."
Here, again, is a scene in a London picture-gallery that presents a
curious incongruity. A group is standing before one of the works of Ary
Scheffer, and an East-ender, catalogue in hand, makes this comment upon
the artist's name: "'Ary Scheffer! Hignorant fellers, these foreigners,
Bill! Spells 'Enery without the Haitch!" In New York we have doubtless
people that would be as incongruous as this in such a scene, but they do
not visit picture-galleries. Nor have we among us a photographer who
could essay to bring a smile to a sitter's face by saying, "Just look a
little pleasant, miss: think of _'im_!" It is evident from many hundreds
of such sketches that there are great numbers of people in England who
exercise difficult callings, hold responsible positions, dress in silk
and broadcloth, and are in many particulars accomplished and well
equipped for the stress of city life, who are destitute of mental
culture to a degree which is associated in our minds only with squalor
and degradation.

The spirit of caste, which appears to be only less strong in England
than in India, affords countless opportunities to English comic art.
Imagine a coster-monger profusely and laboriously apologizing to a
well-dressed passer-by for presuming to speak to him in order to let him
know that his coat-tail is burning: "You'll excuse my addressin' of you,
sir--common man in a manner of speakin'--gen'leman like you,
sir--beggin' pardon for takin' the liberty, which I should never 'a
thought of doin' under ordinary succumstances, sir, only you didn't seem
to be aware on it, but it struck me as I see you agoin' along as you
were _afire_, sir!" During the delivery of this apology combustion had
continued, and Brown's coat-tail was entirely consumed, his box of
fusees having ignited some seconds before the coster-monger began his
discourse. A few years ago _Punch_ gave a little "Sea-side Drama" that
illustrates another phase of the same universal foible. Mrs. De Tomkyns
to her husband: "Ludovic dear, there's Algernon playing with a strange
child! Do prevent it." "How on earth am I to prevent it?" "Tell its
parents Algernon is just recovering from the scarlet fever." Mr. De
Tomkyns accordingly makes this fictitious statement to the father of the
obnoxious child, who replies, "It's all right, sir; so's our little
girl." _Punch_ hits it fairly, too, in a pictured _tête-à-tête_ between
Mr. Shoddy and Mrs. Sharp. Mr. Shoddy remarks, as he sips his coffee,
that he never feels safe from the ubiquitous British snob until he is
south of the Danube. To this Mrs. Sharp responds by asking, "And what do
the--a--South Danubians say, Mr. Shoddy?"

The moral feeling of the _Punch_ artists is so generally sound that it
is surprising to find them often taking the wrong and popular side of
the "conflict of ages" between mistress and maid. But if they usually
laugh with the mistress and at the maid, they occasionally laugh with
the maid and at the mistress; and truly the wildest absurdity attributed
to the British servant seems venial compared with the thoughtless
arrogance of the typical British mistress. _Punch_ does not wholly
neglect her morals. Another hundred volumes or so will doubtless bring
her over to Sydney Smith's opinion, that _all_ the virtues and graces
are not to be had for seven pounds per annum. It was a happy retort upon
"No Irish need apply," to present an English servant-girl peremptorily
leaving a place because she had discovered that the family was Irish,
alleging that her friends would never forgive her if they knew she had
lived in an Irish family. The picture, too, is good of a pretty servant
walking home in the evening behind an elderly and ill-favored lady to
"protect" her from insult. _Punch_ wishes to know who is to protect the
pretty girl on her return through London streets alone. We see also from
numberless pictures that the British mistress deems it her right to
control the dress of the British maid. When crinoline came in, she
thought it impudent in a servant to wear it; but when crinoline went
out, she deemed it no less presuming in her to lay it aside.

For some years past the pictures of children and their ways by Mr. Du
Maurier have been among the most pleasing efforts of comic art in
England. There is not the faintest intimation in them of the malevolent
or sarcastic. All good fathers, all good mothers, and all persons worthy
to become such, delight in them. They are such pictures as we should
naturally expect from an artist who was himself the happy father of a
houseful of happy children, and who consequently looked upon all the
children of the world in a fond, parental spirit. Surely no Bohemian, no
hapless dweller in a boarding-house, no desolate frequenter of clubs, no
one not sharing in the social life of his time, could so delightfully
represent and minister to it. Du Maurier vindicates the generation that
has produced Gavarni and Woodhull. He reminds us from week to week that
children are the sufficient compensation of virtuous existence, worth
all the rest of its honors and delights.

The recent agitation in England of questions relating to religion has
not escaped the caricaturist. For two centuries or more the
caricaturists of Great Britain have been hearty Protestants, though not
long Puritan, and we still find them laughing at the fulminations of the
testy old clergyman who lives in the Vatican. Nor have they failed to
reflect upon the too evident fact that it is the contentions of
clergymen in England that have blocked the way into the national school.
The old-fashioned penny broadside, all alive with figures and words, has
been revived by "Gegeef," to promote the secularization of the schools.
In one of them all the parties to the controversy are exhibited--the
candidate for the mastership of a Government school, who "believes in
Colenso and geology, but don't mind teaching Genesis to oblige;" the
minister who holds up the text, "One faith, one baptism," but demands
that the baptism taught should be _his_ baptism; Thomas Paine, too, who
points to his "Age of Reason," and says, "When you finish, _I_ shall
have something to say;" the compromiser, who is willing to have Bible
lessons given in the schools, provided they are given "without comment;"
and, of course, the radical Bradlaugh, who demands secularization pure
and simple. The same draughtsman, whose zeal is more manifest than his
skill, has attempted to show, in various penny sheets, that amidst all
those sectarian conflicts the one true light for the guidance of
bewildered men is Science.

The only hit, however, in caricature, which these controversies have
suggested is the "Soliloquy of a Rationalistic Chicken." It has had
great currency in England among the clergy, many of whom have assisted
in spreading it abroad; and even secularists have found it passable--as
a caricature. Another recent "sensation" was the caricature by Mr. Matt
Morgan, in the _Tomahawk_, which represented the Prince of Wales
"_following_" the ghost of his predecessor, George IV. It had a great
currency at the time, and may have served a good purpose in warning an
amiable and well-disposed prince to be more careful of appearances.

[Illustration: Soliloquy of a Rationalistic Chicken. (S. J. Stone,
London, 1873.)

  How do I know I ever _was_ inside?
  Now I reflect, it is, I do maintain,
  Less than my reason, and beneath my pride,
          To think that I could dwell
  In such a paltry, miserable cell
          As that old shell.
  Of course I couldn't! How could _I_ have lain,
  Body and beak and feathers, legs and wings,
  And my deep heart's sublime imaginings,
          In there?

  I meet the notion with profound disdain;
  It's quite incredible; since I declare
  (And I'm a chicken that you can't deceive)
  _What I can't understand I won't believe._
          What's that I hear?
  My mother cackling at me! Just her way,
  So prejudiced and ignorant _I_ say;
  So far behind the wisdom of the day.

          What's old I _can't_ revere.
  Hark at her! "You're a silly chick, my dear,
          That's quite as plain, alack!
  As is the piece of shell upon your back!"
  How bigoted! upon my back, indeed!
          I don't believe it's there,
  For I can't _see_ it; and I do declare,
          For all her fond deceivin',
  _What I can't see, I never will believe in!_]

[Illustration: _The P{****}e of W{***}s to K{**}g G{****}e IV._
(_loq._). "I'll follow thee!"--MATT MORGAN, in the _Tomahawk_, 1867.]

During the life-time of the venerable Cruikshank comic art in England
has won the consideration due to a liberal profession, and now enjoys a
fair share of reward as well as honor. He found the comic artist
something of a Bohemian; he leaves him a solvent and respectable
householder. He may have visited Gillray at work in the little room
behind his publisher's shop; and he doubtless often enjoyed the elegant
hospitality of John Leech, one of the first in his branch of art to
attain the solid dignity of a front-door of his own. It is mentioned to
the credit of Richard Doyle, son of HB, that when he resigned his
connection with _Punch_ on account of its caricatures of Wiseman and the
Pope, he gave up an income of eight hundred pounds a year. There is no
worthy circle in Great Britain where the presence of a Tenniel, a Leech,
a Du Maurier, a Doyle, or a Cruikshank would not be felt as an honor and
their society valued as a privilege. England owes them gratitude and
homage. They have not been always right, but they have nearly always
meant to be. Nothing malign, nothing unpatriotic, nothing impure,
nothing mean, has borne their signature; and in a vast majority of
instances they have led the laughter of their countrymen so that it
harmonized with humanity and truth.



Benjamin Franklin was the first American caricaturist. That propensity
of his to use pictures whenever he desired to affect strongly the public
mind was an inheritance from the period when only a very small portion
of the people could read any other than pictorial language. Among the
relics of his race preserved in Boston there is an illustrated handbill
issued by his English uncle Benjamin, after whom he was named, which
must have been a familiar object to him from the eighth year of his age.
Uncle Benjamin, a London dyer when James II. fled from England, wishing
to strengthen the impression made by his printed offer to "dye into
colors" cloth, silk, and India calico, placed at the head of his bill a
rude wood-cut of an East Indian queen taking a walk, attended by two
servants, one bearing her train and the other holding over her an
umbrella. At the door of his shop, too, in Princes Street, near
Leicester Fields, a figure of an Indian queen appealed to the passer-by.

Such was the custom of the time. The diffusion of knowledge lessened the
importance of pictorial representation; but the mere date of Franklin's
birth--1706--explains in some degree his habitual resort to it. Nearly
all the ancient books were illustrated in some way, and nearly every
ancient building appears to have had its "sign." When Franklin was a boy
in Boston a gilt Bible would have directed him where to buy his books,
if he had had any money to buy them with. A gilt sheaf probably notified
him where to get those three historic rolls with which he made his entry
into Philadelphia. The figure of a mermaid invited the thirsty wayfarer
to beer, and an anchor informed sailors where sea-stores were to be had.
The royal lion and unicorn, carved in wood or stone, marked public
edifices. Over the door of his father's shop, where soap and candles
were sold, he saw a blue ball, which still exists, bearing the legible
date 1698. Why a blue ball? He was just the boy to ask the question. A
lad who could not accept grace before meat without wishing to know why
it were not better to say grace once for all over the barrel of pork,
would be likely to inquire what a blue ball had in common with soap and
candles. His excellent but not gifted sire probably informed him that
the blue ball was a relic of the time when he had carried on the
business of a dyer, and that he had continued to use it for his new
vocation because he "had it in the house." Benjamin, the gifted, was the
boy to be dissatisfied with this explanation, and to suggest devices
more in harmony with the industry carried on within, so that the very
incongruity of his father's sign may have quickened his sense of
pictorial effect.

Franklin lived long, figured in a great variety of scenes, accomplished
many notable things, and exhibited versatility of talent--man of
business, inventor, statesman, diplomatist, philosopher; and in each of
these characters he was a leader among leaders; but the ruling habit of
his mind, his _forte_, the talent that he most loved to exercise and
most relished in others, was humor. He began as a humorist, and he ended
as a humorist. The first piece of his ever printed and the last piece he
ever wrote were both satirical: the first, the reckless satire of a
saucy apprentice against the magnates of his town; the last, the
good-tempered satire of a richly gifted, benevolent soul, cognizant of
human weakness, but not despising it, and intent only upon opening the
public mind to unwelcome truth--as a mother makes a child laugh before
inserting the medicine spoon. So dominant was this propensity in his
youthful days, that if he had lived in a place where it had been
possible to subsist by its exercise, there had been danger of his
becoming a professional humorist, merging all the powers of his
incomparable intellect in that one gift.

Imagine Boston in 1722, when this remarkable apprentice began to laugh,
and to make others laugh, at the oppressive solemnities around him and
above him. Then, as now, it was a population industrious and moral,
extremely addicted to routine, habitually frugal, but capable of
magnificent generosity, bold in business enterprises, valiant in battle,
but in all the high matters averse to innovation. Then, as now, the
clergy, a few important families, and Harvard College composed the
ruling influence, against which it was martyrdom to contend. But then,
as now, there were a few audacious spirits who rebelled against these
united powers, and carried their opposition very far, sometimes to a
wild excess, and thus kept this noblest of towns from sinking into an
inane respectability. The good, frugal, steady-going, tax-paying
citizen, who lays in his coal in June and buys a whole pig in December,
would subdue the world to a vast monotonous prosperity, crushing,
intolerable, if there were no one to keep him and the public in mind
that, admirable as he is, he does not exhaust the possibilities of human
nature. When we examine the portraits of the noted men of New England of
the first century and a half after the settlement, we observe in them
all a certain expression of _acquiescence_. There is no audacity in
them. They look like men who could come home from fighting the French in
Canada, or from chasing the whale among the icebergs of Labrador, to be
scared by the menaces of a pontiff like Cotton Mather. They look like
men who would take it seriously, and not laugh at all, when Cotton
Mather denounced the Franklins, for poking fun at him in their
newspaper, as guilty of wickedness without a parallel. "Some good men,"
said he, "are afraid it may provoke Heaven to deal with this place as
never any place has yet been dealt withal."

Never was a community in such sore need of caricature and burlesque as
when James Franklin set up in Boston, in 1721, the first "sensational
newspaper" of America, the _Courant_, to which his brother Benjamin and
the other rebels and come-outers of Boston contributed. The Mathers, as
human beings and citizens of New England, were estimable and even
admirable; but the interests of human nature demand the suppression of
pontiffs. These Mathers, though naturally benevolent, and not wanting in
natural modesty, had attained to such a degree of pontifical arrogance
as to think _Boston_ in deadly peril because a knot of young fellows in
a printing-office aimed satirical paragraphs at them. Increase Mather
called upon the Government to "suppress such a cursed libel," lest "some
awful judgment should come upon the land, and the wrath of God should
rise, and there should be no remedy." It is for such men that burlesque
was made, and the Franklins supplied it in abundance. The _Courant_
ridiculed them even when they were gloriously in the right. They were
enlightened enough and brave enough to recommend inoculation, then just
brought from Turkey by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. The young doctors who
wrote for the paper assailed the new system, apparently for no other
reason than because Increase and Cotton Mather were its chief defenders.

When Benjamin, at the age of sixteen, began to contribute to his
brother's paper, he aimed at higher game even than the town pontiffs. He
dared to lampoon Harvard College itself, the temple of learning where
the clergy were formed, whose precincts he had hoped to tread, his
father having dedicated this tenth son to the Church. He may have had
his own father in mind when he wrote, in one of his early numbers, that
every "peasant" who had the means proposed to send one of his children
to this famous place; and as most of them consulted their purses rather
than their children's capacities, the greater number of those who went
thither were little better than blockheads and dunces. When he came to
speak of the theological department of the college, he drew a pen
caricature, having then no skill with the pencil: "The business of those
who were employed in the temple of theology being laborious and painful,
I wondered exceedingly to see so many go toward it; but while I was
pondering this matter in my mind, I spied _Pecunia_ behind a curtain,
beckoning to them with her hand." He draws another when he says that the
only remarkable thing he saw in this temple was one Plagius hard at work
copying an eloquent passage from Tillotson's works to embellish his own.

This saucy boy, who had his "Hudibras" at his tongue's end, carried the
satirical spirit with him to church on Sundays, and tried some of the
brethren whom he saw there by the Hudibrastic standard. Even after his
brother James had been in prison for his editorial conduct, Benjamin,
who had been left in charge of the paper, drew with his subeditorial pen
a caricature of a "Religious Knave, of all Knaves the Worst:" A most
strict Sabbatarian, an exact observer not of the day only, but of the
evening before and the evening after it; at church conspicuously devout
and attentive, even ridiculously so, with his distorted countenance and
awkward gesticulation. But try and nail him to a bargain! He will
dissemble and lie, snuffle and whiffle, overreach and defraud, cut down
a laborer's wages, and keep the bargain in the letter while violating
its spirit. "Don't tell me," he cries; "a bargain is a bargain. You
should have looked to that before. I can't help it now." Such was the
religious knave invented by the author of "Hudibras," and borrowed by
this Boston apprentice, who had, in all probability, never seen a
character that could have fairly suggested the burlesque.

The authorities rose upon these two audacious brothers, and indicated
how much need there was of such a sheet in Boston by ordering James
Franklin to print it no more. They contrived to carry it on a while in
Benjamin's name; but that sagacious youth was not long in discovering
that the Mathers and their adherents were too strong for him, and he
took an early opportunity of removing to a place established on the
principle of doing without pontiffs. But during his long, illustrious
career in Philadelphia as editor and public man he constantly acted in
the spirit of one of the last passages he wrote before leaving Boston:
"Pieces of pleasantry and mirth have a secret charm in them to allay the
heats and tumults of our spirits, and to make a man forget his restless
resentments. They have a strange power in them to hush disorders of the
soul and reduce us to a serene and placid state of mind." He was the
father of our humorous literature. If, at the present moment, America is
contributing more to the innocent hilarity of mankind than other
nations, it is greatly due to the happy influence of this benign and
liberal humorist upon the national character. "Poor Richard," be it
observed, was the great comic almanac of the country for twenty-five
years, and it was Franklin who infused the element of burlesque into
American journalism. He could not advertise a stolen prayer-book without
inserting a joke to give the advertisement wings: "The person who took
it is desired to open it and read the Eighth Commandment, and afterward
return it into the same pew again; upon which no further notice will be

This propensity was the more precious because it was his destiny to take
a leading part in many controversies which would have become bitter
beyond endurance but for "the strange power" of his "pieces of
pleasantry and mirth" to "hush disorders of the soul." He employed both
pen and pencil in bringing his excellent sense to bear upon the public
mind. What but Franklin's inexhaustible tact and good-humor could have
kept the peace in Pennsylvania between the non-combatant Quakers and the
militant Christians during the long period when the province was
threatened from the sea by hostile fleets and on land by savage Indians?
Besides rousing the combatant citizens to action, he made them willing
to fight for men who would not fight for themselves, and brought over to
his side a large number of the younger and more pliant Quakers. Even in
that early time (1747), while bears still swam the Delaware, he
contrived to get a picture drawn and engraved to enforce the lessons of
his first pamphlet, calling on the Pennsylvanians to prepare for
defense. He may have engraved it himself, for he had a dexterous hand,
and had long before made little pictures out of type-metal to accompany
advertisements. Hercules sits upon a cloud, with one hand resting upon
his club. Three horses vainly strive to draw a heavy wagon from the
mire. The wagoner kneels, lifts his hands, and implores the aid of
Hercules's mighty arm. In the background are trees and houses, and under
the picture are Latin words signifying, "Not by offerings nor by
womanish prayers is the help of gods obtained." In the text, too, when
he essays the difficult task of reconciling the combatants to fighting
for the non-combatants, he becomes pictorial, though he does not use the
graver. "What!" he cries, "not defend your wives, your helpless
children, your aged parents, because the Quakers have conscientious
scruples about fighting!" Then he adds the burlesque picture: "Till of
late I could scarce believe the story of him who refused to pump in a
sinking ship because one on board whom he hated would be saved by it as
well as himself."

[Illustration: JOIN or DIE

A Common Newspaper Heading in 1776; devised by Franklin in May, 1754, at
the Beginning of the French War.]

At the beginning of the contest which in Europe was the Seven Years'
War, but in America a ten years' war, Franklin's pen and pencil were
both employed in urging a cordial union of the colonies against the foe.
His device of a snake severed into as many pieces as there were
colonies, with the motto, "_Join or Die_," survived the occasion that
called it forth, and became a common newspaper and handbill heading in
1776. It was he, also, as tradition reports, who exhibited to the
unbelieving farmers of Pennsylvania the effect of gypsum, by writing
with that fertilizer in large letters upon a field the words "_This has
been plastered_." The brilliant green of the grass which had been
stimulated by the plaster soon made the words legible to the passer-by.
During his first residence in London as the representative of
Pennsylvania he became intimately acquainted with the great artist from
whom excellence in the humorous art of England dates--William Hogarth.
The last letter that the dying Hogarth received was from Benjamin
Franklin. "Receiving an agreeable letter," says Nichols, "from the
American, Dr. Franklin, he drew up a rough draught of an answer to it."
Three hours after, Hogarth was no more.

A few of Franklin's devices for the coins and paper money of the young
republic have been preserved. He wished that every coin and every note
should say something wise or cheerful to their endless succession of
possessors and scrutinizers. Collectors show the Franklin cent of 1787,
with its circle of thirteen links and its central words, "_We are one_"
and outside of these, "_United States_." On the other side of the coin
there is a noonday sun blazing down upon a dial, with the motto, "_Mind
your Business_." He made the date say something more to the reader than
the number of the year, by appending to it the word "_Fugio_" (I fly).
Another cent has a central sun circled by thirteen stars and the words
"_Nova Constellatio_." He suggested "_Pay as you go_" for a coin motto.
Some of his designs for the Continental paper money were ingenious and
effective. Upon one dingy little note, issued during the storm and
stress of the Revolution, we see a roughly executed picture of a shower
of rain falling upon a newly settled country, with a word of good cheer
under it, "_Serenabit_" (It will clear). Upon another there is a picture
of a beaver gnawing a huge oak, and the word "_Perseverando_." On
another there is a crown resting upon a pedestal, and the words "_Si
recte facias_" (If you do uprightly). There is one which represents a
hawk and stork fighting, with the motto "_Exitus in dubio est_" (The
event is in doubt); and another which shows a hand plucking branches
from a tea-plant, with the motto "_Sustain or Abstain_."

The famous scalp hoax devised by Franklin during the Revolutionary war,
for the purpose of bringing the execration of civilized mankind upon the
employment of Indians by the English generals, was vividly pictorial.
Upon his private printing-press in Paris he and his grandson struck off
a leaf of an imaginary newspaper, which he called a "Supplement to the
Boston _Independent Chronicle_." For this he wrote a letter purporting
to be from "Captain Gerrish, of the New England Militia," accompanying
eight packages of "scalps of our unhappy country folks," which he had
captured on a raid into the Indian country. The captain sent with the
scalps an inventory of them, supposed to be drawn up by one James
Crawford, a trader, for the information of the Governor of Canada.
Neither Swift nor De Foe ever surpassed the ingenious naturalness of
this fictitious inventory. It was indeed _too_ natural, for it was
generally accepted as a genuine document, and would even now deceive
almost any one who should come upon it unawares. Who could suspect that
these "eight packs of scalps, cured, dried, hooped, and painted, with
all the Indian triumphal marks" upon them, had never existed except in
the imagination of a merry old plenipotentiary in Paris? There were
"forty-three scalps of Congress soldiers, stretched on black hoops four
inches diameter, the inside of the skin painted red, with a small black
spot to denote their being killed with bullets;" and there were
"sixty-two farmers, killed in their houses, marked with a hoe, a black
circle all around to denote their being surprised in the night." Other
farmers' scalps were marked with "a little red foot," to show that they
stood upon their defense; and others with "a little yellow flame," to
show that they had been burned alive. To one scalp a band was fastened,
"supposed to be that of a rebel clergyman." Then there were eighty-eight
scalps of women, and "some hundreds of boys and girls." The package last
described was "a box of birch-bark containing twenty-nine little
infants' scalps of various sizes, small white hoops, white ground, no
tears, and only a little black knife in the middle to show they were
ripped out of their mothers' bellies." The trader dwells upon the fact
that most of the farmers were young or middle-aged, "there being _but_
sixty-seven _very_ gray heads among them; which makes the service more
essential." Every detail of this supplement was worked out with infinite
ingenuity, even to the editor's postscript, which stated that the scalps
had just reached Boston, where thousands of people were flocking to see

Franklin was more than a humorist; he was an artist in humor. In other
words, he not only had a lively sense of the absurd and the ludicrous,
but he knew how to exhibit them to others with the utmost power and
finish. His grandson, who lived with him in Paris during the
Revolutionary period, a very good draughtsman, used to illustrate his
humorous papers, and between them they produced highly entertaining
things, only a few of which have been gathered. The Abbé Morellet, one
of the gay circle who enjoyed them, remarks that in his sportive moods
Franklin was "Socrates mounted on a stick, playing with his children."
To this day, however, there are millions who regard that vast and
somewhat disorderly genius, who was one of the least sordid and most
generous of all recorded men, as the mere type of penny prudence. Even
so variously informed a person as the author of "A Short History of the
English People," published in 1875, speaks of the "close-fisted

It is in vain that we seek for specimens of colonial caricature outside
of the Franklin circle. Satirical pictures were doubtless produced in
great numbers, and a few may have been published; but caricature is a
thing of the moment, and usually perishes with the moment, unless it is
incorporated with a periodical. Almost all the intellectual product of
the colonial period that was not theological has some relation to the
wise and jovial Franklin, the incomparable American, the father of his
country's intellectual life, whether manifested in literature,
burlesque, politics, invention, or science.

[Illustration: Boston Massacre Coffins; Boston, March, 1774. (From
"American Historical Record.")]

The Boston massacre, as it was called, which was commemorated by the
device of a row of coffins, often employed before and since, might have
been more properly styled a street brawl, if the mere presence of
British troops in Boston in 1774 had not been an outrage of
international dimensions. The four victims, Samuel Gray, Samuel
Maverick, James Cauldwell, and Crispus Attucks, were borne to the grave
by all that was most distinguished in the province, and the whole people
seemed to have either followed or witnessed the procession. Amidst the
frenzy of the time, these coffin-lids served to express and relieve the
popular feeling. The subsequent acquittal of the innocent soldiers, who
had shown more forbearance than armed men usually do when taunted and
assailed by an unarmed crowd, remains one of the most honorable of the
early records of Boston.

There were attempts at caricature during the later years of the
Revolutionary war. From 1778, when inflated paper, French francs,
British gold, and Hessian thalers had given the business centres of the
country a short, fallacious prosperity, there was gayety enough in
Philadelphia and Boston. There were balls and parties, and sending to
France for articles of luxury, and profusion of all kinds--as there was
in the late war, and as there must be in all wars which are not paid for
till the war is over. There are indications in the old books that the
burlesquing pencil was a familiar instrument then among the merry lads
of the cities and towns. But their efforts, after having answered their
momentary purpose, perished.

And the habit of burlesque survived the war. There are few persons, even
among the zealous fraternity of collectors, who are aware that a New
York dramatist, in the year 1788, endeavored to burlesque, in a regular
five-act comedy, the violent debates which distracted all circles while
the acceptance of the new Constitution was the question of questions. A
copy or two of this comedy, called "The Politician Outwitted," have been
preserved. In lieu of the lost pictures, take this brief scene, which
exhibits a violent squabble between an inveterate opponent of the
Constitution and a burning patriot who supports it. They enter, in
proper comedy fashion, after they are in full quarrel.

     "_Enter_ OLD LOVEYET _and_ TRUEMAN.

     "_Loveyet._ I tell you, it is the most infernal scheme that ever
     was devised.

     "_Trueman._ And I tell you, sir, that your argument is heterodox,
     sophistical, and most preposterously illogical.

     "_Loveyet._ I insist upon it, sir, you know nothing at all about
     the matter! And give me leave to tell you, sir--

     "_Trueman._ What! Give you leave to tell me I know nothing at all
     about the matter? I shall do no such thing, sir. I'm not to be
     governed by your _ipse dixit_.

     "_Loveyet._ I desire none of your musty Latin, for I don't
     understand it, not I.

     "_Trueman._ O the ignorance of the age! To oppose a plan of
     government like the new Constitution! _Like_ it, did I say? There
     never _was_ one like it. Neither Minos, Solon, Lycurgus, nor
     Romulus ever fabricated so wise a system. Why, it is a political
     phenomenon, a prodigy of legislative wisdom, the fame of which
     will soon extend ultramundane, and astonish the nations of the
     world with its transcendent excellence. To what a sublime height
     will the superb edifice attain!

     "_Loveyet._ Your aspiring edifice shall never be erected in this
     State, sir.

     "_Trueman._ Mr. Loveyet, you will not listen to reason. Only
     calmly attend one moment.

     [_Reads._] 'We, the people of the United States, in order to form
     a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic
     tranquillity, provide--'

     "_Loveyet._ I tell you I won't hear it.

     "_Trueman._ Mark all that. [_Reads._] 'Section the First. All
     legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of
     the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of
     Representatives.' Very judicious and salutary, upon my erudition!
     'Section the Second--'

     "_Loveyet._ I'll hear no more of your sections."

[Illustration: A Militia Drill in Massachusetts in 1832.]

They continue the debate until both disputants are in the white heat of
passion. Old Mr. Loveyet rushes away at last to break off the match
between his daughter and Trueman's son, and Trueman retorts by calling
his fiery antagonist "a conceited sot." This comedy is poor stuff, but
it suffices to reveal the existence of the spirit of caricature among us
at that early day, when New York was a clean, cobble-stoned,
Dutch-looking town of thirty thousand inhabitants, one of whom, a boy
five years of age, was named Washington Irving.

General Washington was inaugurated President at the same city in the
following year. How often has the world been assured that no dissentient
voice was heard on that occasion! The arrival of the general in New York
was a pageant which the entire population is supposed to have most
heartily approved; and a very pleasing spectacle it must have been, as
seen from the end of the island--the vessels decked with flags and
streamers, and the President's stately barge, rowed by thirteen pilots
in white uniforms, advancing toward the city, surrounded and followed by
a cloud of small boats, to the thunder of great guns. But even then, it
seems, there were a few who looked askance. At least one caricature
appeared. "All the world here," wrote John Armstrong to the unreconciled
General Gates, "are busy in collecting flowers and sweets of every kind
to amuse and delight the President." People were asking one another, he
adds, by what awe-inspiring title the President should be called, even
plain Roger Sherman, of Connecticut, regarding "His Excellency" as
beneath the grandeur of the office. "Yet," says Armstrong, "in the midst
of this admiration there are skeptics who doubt its propriety, and wits
who amuse themselves at its extravagance. The first will grumble and the
last will laugh, and the President should be prepared to meet the
attacks of both with firmness and good nature. A caricature has already
appeared, called 'The Entry,' full of very disloyal and profane
allusions." It was by no means a good-natured picture. General
Washington was represented riding upon an ass, and held in the arms of
his favorite man Billy, once huntsman, then valet and factotum; Colonel
David Humphreys, the general's aid and secretary, led the ass, singing
hosannas and birthday odes, one couplet of which was legible:

  "The glorious time has come to pass
   When David shall conduct an ass."

This effort was more ill-natured than brilliant; but the reader who
examines the fugitive publications of that period will often feel that
the adulation of the President was such as to provoke and justify severe
caricature. That adulation was as excessive as it was ill executed; and
part of the office of caricature is to remind Philip that he is a man.
The numberless "verses," "odes," "tributes," "stanzas," "lines," and
"sonnets" addressed to President Washington lie entombed in the dingy
leaves of the old newspapers; but a few of the epigrams which they
provoked have been disinterred, and even some of the caricatures are
described in the letters of the time. Neither the verses nor the
pictures are at all remarkable. Probably the best caricature that
appeared during the administration of General Washington was suggested
by the removal of the national capital from New York to Philadelphia.
Senator Robert Morris, being a Philadelphian, and having large
possessions in Philadelphia, was popularly supposed to have procured the
passage of the measure, and accordingly the portly Senator is seen in
the picture carrying off upon his broad shoulders the Federal Hall, the
windows of which are crowded with members of both Houses, some
commending, others cursing this novel method of removal. In the distance
is seen the old Paulus Hook ferry-house, at what is now Jersey City, on
the roof of which is the devil beckoning to the heavy-laden Morris, and
crying to him, "This way, Bobby." The removal of the capital was a
fruitful theme for the humorists of the day. Even then "New York
politicians" had an ill name, and Congress was deemed well out of their

But those were the halcyon days of the untried administration; to which
indeed there was as yet nothing that could be called an Opposition. The
entire nation, with here and there an individual exception, was in full
accord with the feeling expressed in Benjamin Russell's allegory that
went "the round of the press" in 1789 and 1790:


[Illustration: A ship.]

     "Just _launched_ on the _Ocean of Empire_, the Ship COLUMBIA,
     GEORGE WASHINGTON, Commander, which, after being thirteen years
     in _dock_, is at length well _manned_, and in very good
     condition. The Ship is a _first rate_--has a good _bottom_, which
     all the Builders have pronounced _sound_ and _good_. Some
     objection has been made to parts of the _tackling_, or _running
     rigging_, which, it is supposed, will be _altered_, when they
     shall be found to be incommodious, as the Ship is able to make
     very good _headway_ with them as they are. A _jury_ of
     _Carpenters_ have this matter now under consideration. The
     _Captain_ and _First Mate_ are universally esteemed by all the
     Owners--Eleven[40] in number--and she has been _insured_, under
     their direction, to make a good _mooring_ in the _harbor_ of
     Public Prosperity and Felicity--whitherto she is bound. The
     Owners can furnish, besides the Ship's Company, the following
     materials:--_New-Hampshire_, the Masts and Spars;
     _Massachusetts_, Timber for the Hull, Fish, &c.; _Connecticut_,
     Beef and Pork; _New-York_, Porter and other Cabin stores;
     _New-Jersey_, the Cordage; _Pennsylvania_, Flour and
     Bread;--_Delaware_, the Colors, and Clothing for the Crew;
     _Maryland_, the Iron work and small Anchors; _Virginia_, Tobacco
     and the Sheet Anchor; _South-Carolina_, Rice; and _Georgia_,
     Powder and small Provisions. Thus found, may this _good Ship_ put
     to sea, and the prayer of all is, that GOD _may preserve her, and
     bring her in safety to her desired haven_."

[Footnote 40: Only eleven States had accepted the Constitution when this
was written.]

The Government had not been long domiciled in the City of Brotherly Love
before parties became defined and party spirit acrimonious. The popular
heart and hope and imagination were all on the side of revolutionized
France in her unequal struggle with the allied kings. Conservative and
"safe" men were more and more drawn into sympathy with the powers that
were striving to maintain the established order, chief of which was
Great Britain. President Washington, in maintaining the just balance
between the two contending principles and powers, could not but give
some dissatisfaction to both political parties, and, most of all, to the
one in the warmest sympathy with France. In the dearth of pictorical
relics of that period, I insert the parody of the Athanasian creed
annexed, from the _National Gazette_ of Philadelphia, edited by Freneau,
and maintained by the friends of Jefferson and Madison:


     "Whoever would live peaceably in Philadelphia, above all things
     it is necessary that he hold the Federal faith--and the Federal
     faith is this, that there are two governing powers in this
     country, both equal, and yet one superior: which faith except
     every one keep undefiledly, without doubt he shall be abused

     "The Briton is superior to the American, and the American is
     inferior to the Briton: and yet they are equal, and the Briton
     shall govern the American.

     "The Briton, while here, is commanded to obey the American, and
     yet the American ought to obey the Briton.

     "And yet they ought not both to be obedient, but only one to be
     obedient. For there is one dominion nominal of the American, and
     another dominion real of the Briton.

     "And yet there are not two dominions, but only one dominion.

     "For like as we are compelled by the British constitution book to
     acknowledge that _subjects_ must submit themselves to their
     monarchs, and be obedient to them in all things:

     "So we are forbid by our Federal executive to say that we are at
     all influenced by our treaty with France, or to pay regard to
     what it enforceth:

     "The American was created for the Briton, and the Briton for the

     "And yet the American shall be a slave to the Briton, and the
     Briton the tyrant of the American.

     "And Britons are of three denominations, and yet only of one
     soul, nature, and subsistency:

     "The Irishman of infinite impudence:

     "The Scotchman of cunning most inscrutable:

     "And the Englishman of impertinence altogether insupportable:

     "The only true and honorable gentlemen of this our blessed

     "He, therefore, that would live in quiet, must thus think of the
     Briton and the American.

     "It is furthermore necessary that every _good_ American should
     believe in the infallibility of the executive, when its
     proclamations are echoed by Britons:

     "For the true faith is, that we believe and confess that the
     Government is fallible and infallible:

     "Fallible in its republican nature, and infallible in its
     monarchical tendency, erring in its state of individuality, and
     unerring in its Federal complexity.

     "So that though it be both fallible and infallible, yet it is not
     twain, but one government only, as having consolidated all state
     dominion, in order to rule with sway uncontrolled.

     "This is the true Federal faith, which except a man believe and
     practice faithfully, beyond all doubt he shall be cursed

A rude but very curious specimen of the caricature of the early time is
given on the next page of the collision on the floor of the House of
Representatives between Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold, both
representatives from Connecticut. Lyon, a native of Ireland, was an
ardent Republican, who played a conspicuous part in politics during the
final struggle between the Republicans and the Federalists. Roger
Griswold, on the contrary, a member of an old and distinguished
Connecticut family, a graduate of its ancient college, and a member of
its really illustrious bar, was a pronounced Federalist. He was also a
gentleman who had no natural relish for a strong-minded, unlettered
emigrant who founded a town in his new country, built mills and
foundries, invented processes, established a newspaper, and was elected
to Congress. If Hamilton and Griswold and the other extreme Federalists
had had their way in this country, there would have been no Matthew
Lyons among us to create a new world for mankind, and begin the
development of a better political system. Nor, indeed, was Matthew Lyon
sufficiently tolerant of the old and tried methods that had become
inadequate. He was not likely, either--at the age of fifty-two, standing
upon the summit of a very successful career, which was wholly his own
work--to regard as equal to himself a man of thirty-six, who seemed to
owe his importance chiefly to his lineage. So here was a broad basis for
an antipathy which the strife of politics could easily aggravate into an
aversion extreme and fiery--fiery, at least, on the part of the

[Illustration: Fight in Congress between Lyon and Griswold, February
15th, 1798.

  "He in a trice struck Griswold thrice
    Upon his head, enraged, sir;
  Who seized the tongs to ease his wrongs,
    And Griswold thus engaged, sir."]

Imagine this process complete, and the House, on the last day of the
year 1798, in languid session, balloting. The two members were standing
near one another outside the bar, when Griswold made taunting allusion
to an old "campaign story" of Matthew Lyon's having been sentenced to
wear a wooden sword for cowardice in the field. Lyon, in a fury, spit in
Griswold's face. Instantly the House was in an uproar; and although the
impetuous Lyon apologized to the House, he only escaped expulsion, after
eleven days' debate, through the constitutional requirement of a
two-thirds vote. This affair called forth a caricature in which the
Irish member was depicted as a lion standing on his hind-legs wearing a
wooden sword, while Griswold, handkerchief in hand, exclaims, "What a
beastly action!"

The vote for expulsion--52 to 44--did not satisfy Mr. Griswold. Four
days after the vote occurred the outrageous scene rudely delineated in
the picture already mentioned. Griswold, armed with what the Republican
editor called "a stout hickory club," and the Federalist editor a
"hickory stick," assaulted Lyon while he was sitting at his desk,
striking him on the head and shoulders several times before he could
extricate himself. But at last Lyon got upon his feet, and, seizing the
tongs, rushed upon the enemy. This is the moment selected by the artist.
They soon after closed and fell to the floor, where they enjoyed a good
"rough-and-tumble" fight, until members pulled them apart. A few minutes
after they chanced to meet again at the "water table," near one of the
doors. Lyon was now provided with a stick, but Griswold had none. "Their
eyes no sooner met," says the Federalist reporter, "than Mr. Lyon sprung
to attack Mr. Griswold." A member handed Griswold a stick, and there was
a fair prospect of another fight, when the Speaker interfered with so
much energy that the antagonists were again torn apart. The battle was
not renewed on the floor of Congress.

But it was continued elsewhere. Under that amazing sedition law of the
Federalists, Lyon was tried a few months after for saying in his
newspaper that President Adams had an "unbounded thirst for ridiculous
pomp," had turned men out of office for their opinions, and had written
"a bullying message" upon the French imbroglio of 1798. He was found
guilty, sentenced to pay a fine of a thousand dollars, besides the heavy
costs of the prosecution, to be imprisoned four months, and to continue
in confinement until the fine was paid. Of course the people of his
district stood by him, and, while he was in prison, re-elected him to
Congress by a great majority; and his fine was repaid to his heirs in
1840 by Congress, with forty-two years' interest. These events made a
prodigious stir in their time. Matthew Lyon's presence in the House of
Representatives, his demeanor there, and his triumphal return from
prison to Congress, were the first distinct notification to parties
interested that the sceptre was passing from the Few to the Many.

The satire and burlesque of the Jeffersonian period, from 1798 to 1809,
were abundant in quantity, if not of shining excellence. To the reader
of the present day all savors of burlesque in the political utterances
of that time, so preposterously violent were partisans on both sides. It
is impossible to take a serious view of the case of an editor who could
make it a matter of boasting that he had opposed the Republican measures
for eight years "without a single exception." The press, indeed, had
then no independent life; it was the minion and slave of party. It is
only in our own day that the press begins to exist for its own sake, and
descant with reasonable freedom on topics other than the Importance of
Early Rising and the Customs of the Chinese. The reader would neither be
edified nor amused by seeing Mr. Jefferson kneeling before a stumpy
pillar labeled "Altar of Gallic Despotism," upon which are Paine's "Age
of Reason" and the works of Rousseau, Voltaire, and Helvetius, with the
demon of the French Revolution crouching behind it, and the American
eagle soaring aloft, bearing in its talons the Constitution and the
independence of the United States. Pictures of that nature, of great
size, crowded with objects, emblems, and sentences--an elaborate
blending of burlesque, allegory, and enigma--were so much valued by that
generation that some of them were engraved upon copper.

On the day of the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson as President of the
United States, March 4th, 1801, a parody appeared in the _Centinel_ of
Boston, a Federalist paper of great note in its time, which may serve
our purpose here:

  Monumental Inscription.

  "_That life is long which answers Life's great end._"

  Yesterday expired, deeply regretted by millions of grateful Americans,
     and by all good men,
  animated by
  Æt. 12 years.

  Its death was occasioned by the secret arts and open violence
     of foreign and domestic demagogues:
  Notwithstanding its whole life was
     devoted to the performance of every duty to promote
  the Union, Credit, Peace, Prosperity, Honor,
  and Felicity of its Country.

  At its birth, it found the Union of the States dissolving like a rope
     of snow;
  It hath left it stronger than the threefold cord.

  It found the United States bankrupts in estate and reputation;
  It hath left them unbounded in credit, and respected throughout the
  It found the Treasuries of the United States and Individual States empty;
  It hath left them full and overflowing.
  It found all the evidences of public debts worthless as rags;
  It hath left them more valuable than gold and silver.

  It found the United States at war with the Indian nations;
  It hath concluded peace with them all.
  It found the aboriginals of the soil inveterate enemies of the whites;
  It hath exercised toward them justice and generosity, and hath left them
     fast friends.
  It found Great Britain in possession of all the frontier posts;
  It hath demanded their surrender, and it leaves them in the possession of
     the United States.
  It found the American sea-coast utterly defenseless;
  It hath left it fortified.
  It found our arsenals empty, and magazines decaying;
  It hath left them full of ammunition and warlike implements.
  It found our country dependent on foreign nations for engines of defense;
  It hath left manufactories of cannon and musquets in full work.
  It found the American Nation at war with Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli;
  It hath made peace with them all.
  It found American freemen in Turkish slavery, where they had languished
     in chains for years;
  It hath ransomed them and set them free.

  It found the war-worn, invalid soldier starving from want; or, like
     Belisarius, begging his refuse-meat from door to door;
  It hath left ample provision for the regular payment of his pension.

  It found the commerce of our country confined almost to coasting craft;
  It hath left it whitening every sea with its canvas, and cheering every
     clime with its stars.

  It found our mechanics and manufacturers idle in the streets for want of
  It hath left them full of business, prosperous, contented, and happy.
  It found the yeomanry of the country oppressed with unequal taxes; their
     farms, houses, and barns decaying; their cattle selling at the
     sign-posts; and they driven to desperation and rebellion;
  It hath left their coffers in cash, their houses in repair, their barns
     full, their farms overstocked, and their produce commanding ready
     money and a high price.
  In short, it found them poor, indigent malcontents;
  It hath left them wealthy friends to order and good government.

  It found the United States deeply in debt to France and Holland;
  It hath paid all the demands of the former, and the principal part of
     the latter.
  It found the country in a ruinous alliance with France;
  It hath honorably dissolved the connection, and set us free.

  It found the United States without a swivel on float for their defense;
  It hath left a Navy--composed of 34 ships of war, mounting 918 guns,
     and manned by 7350 gallant tars.

  It found the exports of our country a mere song in value;
  It hath left them worth above seventy millions of dollars per annum.
  In one word, it found America disunited, poor, insolvent, weak,
     discontented, and wretched;
  It hath left her united, wealthy, respectable, strong, happy, and
  Let the faithful historian, in after-times, say these things of its
     successor, if he can.
  And yet, notwithstanding all these services and blessings, there are
     found many, very many, weak, degenerate sons, who, lost to virtue,
     to gratitude, and patriotism, openly exult that this Administration
     is no more, and that the "Sun of Federalism is set forever."
  "_Oh shame, where is thy blush?_"


                                                         The Centinel.

  _March 4th, 1801._

[Illustration: The Gerry-Mander. (Boston, 1811.)]

The victorious Republicans, if less skillful than their adversaries in
the burlesque arts, had their own methods of parrying and returning such
assaults as this. At an earlier period in Mr. Jefferson's ascendency,
the politicians, borrowing the idea from Catholic times, employed
stuffed figures and burlesque processions in lieu of caricature. While
the people were still in warm sympathy with the French Revolution,
William Smith, a Representative in Congress from South Carolina, gave
deep offense to many of his constituents by opposing certain resolutions
offered by "Citizen Madison" expressive of that sympathy. There was no
burlesque artist then in South Carolina, but the Democrats of Charleston
contrived, notwithstanding, to caricature the offender and "his infernal
junto." A platform was erected in an open place in Charleston, upon
which was exhibited to a noisy crowd, from early in the morning until
three in the afternoon, a rare assemblage of figures: A woman
representing the Genius of Britain inviting the recreant Representatives
to share the wages of her iniquity; William Smith advancing toward her
with eager steps, his right hand stretched out to receive his portion,
in his left holding a paper upon which was written "_Six per cents_,"
and wearing upon his breast another with "£40,000 _in the Funds_;"
Benedict Arnold with his hand full of checks and bills; Fisher Ames
labeled "£400,000 _in the Funds_;" the devil and "Young Pitt" goading on
the reprobate Americans. In front of the stage was a gallows for the due
hanging and burning of these figures when the crowd were tired of gazing
upon them. Each of the characters was provided with a label exhibiting
an appropriate sentiment. The odious Smith was made to confess that his
sentence was just: "The love of gold, a foreign education, and foreign
connections damn me." "Young Pitt" owned to having let loose the
Algerines upon the Americans, and Fisher Ames confessed that from the
time when he began life as a horse-jockey his "_Ames_ had been

It is an objection to this kind of caricature that the weather may
interfere with its proper presentation. A shower of rain obliterated
most of those labels, and left the figures themselves in a reduced and
draggled condition. But, according to the local historian, the
exhibition was continued, "to the great mirth and entertainment of the
boys, who would not quit the field until a total demolition of the
figures took place," nor "before they had taken down the breeches of the
effigy of the Representative of this State and given him repeated
castigations." In the evening the colors of Great Britain were dipped in
oil and _French_ brandy, and burned at the same fire which had consumed
the effigies.

Later in the Jeffersonian period, the burlesque procession--_caricature
vivante_--was occasionally employed by the New England Federalists to
excite popular disapproval of the embargo which suspended foreign
commerce. Elderly gentlemen in Newburyport remember hearing their
fathers describe the battered old hulk of a vessel, with rotten rigging
and tattered sails, manned by ragged and cadaverous sailors, that was
drawn in such a procession in 1808, the year of the Presidential
election. There are even a few old people who remember seeing the
procession, for in those healthy old coast towns the generations are
linked together, and the whole history of New England is sometimes
represented in the group round the post-office of a fine summer morning.
The odd-looking picture of the Gerry-mander, on the previous page,
belongs to the same period, and preserves a record not creditable to
party politicians. Democratic leaders in Massachusetts, in order to
secure the election of two Senators of their party, redistricted the
State with absurd disregard of geographical facts. The _Centinel_
exhibited the fraud by means of a colored map, which the artist, Gilbert
Stuart, by a few touches, converted into the immortal Gerry-mander.
Governor Gerry, though not the author of the scheme, nor an approver of
it, justly shares the discredit of a measure which he might have vetoed,
but did not.

The war of 1812 yields its quota of caricature to the collector's
port-folio. "John Bull making a New Batch of Ships to send to the Lakes"
is an obvious imitation of Gillray's masterpiece of Bonaparte baking a
new batch of kings. The contribution levied upon Alexandria, and the
retreat of a party of English troops from Baltimore, furnish subjects to
a draughtsman who had more patriotic feeling than artistic invention.
His "John Bull" is a stout man, with a bull's head and a long sword, who
utters pompous words. "I must have all your flour, all your tobacco, all
your ships, all your merchandise--every thing except your _Porter_ and
_Perry_. Keep them out of sight; I have had enough of _them_ already."
No doubt this was comforting to the patriotic mind while it was
lamenting a Capitol burned and a President in flight.



[Illustration: Thomas Nast, 1875.]

[Illustration: WHOLESALE. RETAIL. (_Harper's Weekly_, September 16th,

The era of good feeling which followed the war of 1812, and which
exhausted the high, benign spirit infused into public affairs by Mr.
Jefferson, could not be expected to call forth satirical pictures of
remarkable quality. The irruption of the positive and uncontrollable
Jackson into politics made amends. Once more the mind of the country was
astir, and again nearly the whole of the educated class was arrayed
against the masses of the people. The two political parties in every
country, call them by whatever disguising names we may, are the Rich and
the Poor. The rich are naturally inclined to use their power to give
their own class an advantage; the poor naturally object; and this is the
underlying, ever-operating cause of political strife in all countries
that enjoy a degree of freedom; and this is the reason why, in times of
political crisis, the instructed class is frequently in the wrong.
Interest and pride blind its judgment. In Jackson's day the distinction
between the right and the wrong politics was not so clear as in
Jefferson's time; but it was, upon the whole, the same struggle
disguised and degraded by personal ambitions and antipathies. It
certainly called forth as many parodies, burlesques, caricatures, and
lampoons as any similar strife since the invention of politics. The
coffin handbills repeated the device employed after the Boston massacre
of 1774 in order to keep it in memory that General Jackson had ordered
six militiamen to be shot for desertion. The hickory poles that pierced
the sky at so many cross-roads were a retort to these, admitting but
eulogizing the hardness of the man. The sudden breakup of the cabinet in
1831 called forth a caricature which dear Mrs. Trollope described as
"the only tolerable one she ever saw in the country." It represented the
President seated in his room trying hard to detain one of four escaping
rats by putting his foot on its tail. The rat thus held wore the
familiar countenance of the Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren, who
had been requested to remain till his successor had arrived. It was this
picture that gave occasion for one of John Van Buren's noted sayings
that were once a circulating medium in the lawyers' offices of New York.
"When will your father be in New York?" asked some one. The reply was,
"When the President takes off his foot."

[Illustration: The Brains of the Tammany Ring. (_Harper's Weekly_,
October 21st, 1871.)]

Then we have Van Buren as a baby in the arms of General Jackson,
receiving pap from a spoon in the general's hand; Jackson and Clay as
jockeys riding a race toward the Presidential house, Clay ahead; Jackson
receiving a crown from Van Buren and a sceptre from the devil; Jackson,
Benton, Blair, Kendall, and others, in the guise of robbers, directing a
great battering-ram at the front door of the United States Bank;
Jackson, as Don Quixote, breaking a very slender lance against one of
the marble pillars of the same edifice; Jackson and Louis Philippe as
pugilists in a ring, the king having just received a blow that makes his
crown topple over his face.

[Illustration: "What are the Wild Waves saying?" (_Harper's Weekly_,
July 9th, 1870.)]

Burlesque processions were also much in vogue in 1832 during the weeks
preceding the Presidential election. To the oratory of Webster, Preston,
Hoffman, and Everett, the Democracy replied by massive hickory poles,
fifty feet long, drawn by eight, twelve, or sixteen horses, and ridden
by as many young Democrats as could get astride of the emblematic log,
waving flags and shouting, "Hurra for Jackson!" Live eagles were borne
aloft upon poles, banners were carried exhibiting Nicholas Biddle as Old
Nick, and endless ranks of Democrats marched past, each Democrat wearing
in his hat a sprig of the sacred tree. And again the cultured orators
were wrong, and the untutored Democrats were substantially in the right.
Ambition and interest prevented those brilliant men from seeing that in
putting down the bank, as in other measures of his stormy
administration, the worst that could be truly said of General Jackson
was that he did right things in a wrong way. The "shin-plaster"
caricature given on the following page is itself a record of the bad
consequences that followed his violent method in the matter of the bank.
The inflation of 1835 produced the wild land speculation of 1836, which
ended in the woful collapse of 1837, the year of bankruptcy and

To this period belongs the picture, given on a previous page, which
caricatures the old militia system by presenting at one view many of the
possible mishaps of training-day. The receipt which John Adams gave for
making a free commonwealth enumerated four ingredients--town meetings,
training-days, town schools, and ministers. But in the time of Jackson
the old militia system had been outgrown, and it was laughed out of
existence. Most of the faces in this picture were intended to be

[Illustration: Shin-plaster Caricature of General Jackson's War on the
United States Bank, and its Consequences, 1837.]

Mr. Hudson, in his valuable "History of Journalism," speaks of a
lithographer named Robinson, who used to line the fences and even the
curb-stones of New York with rude caricatures of the persons prominent
in public life during the administrations of Jackson and Van Buren.
Several of these have been preserved, with others of the same period;
but few of them are tolerable, now that the feeling which suggested them
no longer exists; and as to the greater number, we can only agree with
the New York _Mirror_, then in the height of its celebrity and
influence, in pronouncing them "so dull and so pointless that it were a
waste of powder to blow them up."

[Illustration: City People in a Country Church.]

The publication of Mrs. Trollope's work upon the "Domestic Manners of
the Americans" called forth many inanities, to say nothing of a volume
of two hundred and sixteen pages, entitled "Travels in America, by
George Fibbleton, Esq., ex-Barber to His Majesty the King of Great
Britain." In this work Mrs. Trollope's burlesque was burlesqued
sufficiently well, perhaps, to amuse people at the moment, though it
reads flatly enough now. The rise and progress of phrenology was
caricatured as badly as Spurzheim himself could have desired, and the
agitation in behalf of the rights of women evoked all that the pencil
can achieve of the crude and the silly. On the other hand, the burning
of the Ursuline convent in Boston was effectively rebuked by a pair of
sketches, one exhibiting the destruction of the convent by an infuriate
mob, and the other a room in which Sisters of Charity are waiting upon
the sick. Over the whole was written, "Look on this picture, and on

[Illustration: Why don't you take it?]

The thirty years' word war that preceded the four years' conflict in
arms between North and South produced nothing in the way of burlesque
art that is likely to be revived or remembered. If the war itself was
not prolific of caricature, it was because drawing, as a part of school
training, was still neglected among us. That the propensity to
caricature existed is shown by the pictures on envelopes used during the
first weeks of the war. The practice of illustrating envelopes in this
way began on both sides in April, 1861, at the time when all eyes were
directed upon Charleston. The flag of the Union, printed in colors, was
the first device. This was instantly imitated by the Confederates, who
filled their mails with envelope-flags showing seven stars and three
broad stripes, the middle (white) one serving as a place for the
direction of the letter. Very soon the flags began to exhibit mottoes
and patriotic lines, such as, "Liberty and Union," "The Flag of the
Free," and "Forever float that Standard Sheet!" The national arms
speedily appeared, with various mottoes annexed. General Dix's
inspiration, "If any one attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot
him on the spot," was the most popular of all for several weeks.
Portraits of favorite generals and other public men were soon
added--Scott, Fremont, Dix, Lincoln, Seward, and others. Before long the
satirical and burlesque spirit began to manifest itself in such devices
as a black flag and death's-head, with the words "Jeff Davis--his Mark;"
a gallows, with a man hanging; a large pig, with "Whole Hog or None;" a
bull-dog with his foot on a great piece of beef, marked Washington, with
the words "Why don't you take it?" The portrait of General Butler
figured on thousands of letters during the months of April and May, with
his patriotic sentence, "Whatever our politics, the Government must be
sustained;" and, a little later, his happy application of the words
"contraband of war" to the case of the fugitive negroes was repeated
upon letters without number. "Come back here, you old black rascal!"
cries a master to his escaping slave. "Can't come back nohow," replies
the colored brother; "dis chile contraban'." On many envelopes printed
as early as May, 1861, we may still read a prophecy under the flag of
the Union that has been fulfilled, "I shall wave again over Sumter."

[Illustration: Popular Caricature of the Secession War.

(From Envelopes, 1861. Collected by William B. Taylor, Postmaster of New
York, and presented by him to the New York Historical Society.)]

Such things as these usually perish with the feeling that called them
forth. Mr. William B. Taylor, then the postmaster of New York, struck
with the peculiar appearance of the post-office, all gay and brilliant
with heaps of colored pictures, conceived the fancy of saving one or two
envelopes of each kind, selected from the letters addressed to himself.
These he hastily pasted in a scrap-book, which he afterward gave to
swell the invaluable collection of curiosities belonging to the New York
Historical Society.

[Illustration: Virginia Pausing.]

We should not naturally have looked for caricature in Richmond in April,
1861, while the convention was sitting that passed the ordinance of
secession. But the reader will perceive on this page that the pencil
lent its aid to those who were putting the native state of Washington
and Jefferson on the wrong side of the great controversy. This specimen
appeared on the morning of the decisive day, and was brought away by a
lady who then left Richmond for her home in New York. The rats are
arranged so as to show the order in which the States seceded: South
Carolina first, Mississippi second, Alabama and Florida on the same day,
and Virginia still held by the negotiations with Mr. Lincoln. This
picture may stand as the contribution of the Confederacy to the satiric
art of the world.

Few readers need to be informed that it was the war which developed and
brought to light the caricaturist of the United States, Thomas Nast.
When the war began he was a boyish-looking youth of eighteen, who had
already been employed as a draughtsman upon the illustrated press of New
York and London for two years. He had ridden in Garibaldi's train during
the campaign of 1860 which freed Sicily and Naples, and sent sketches of
the leading events home to New York and to the London _Illustrated
News_. But it was the secession war that changed him from a roving lad,
with a swift pencil for sale, into a patriot artist, burning with the
enthusiasm of the time. _Harper's Weekly_, circulating in every town,
army, camp, fort, and ship, placed the whole country within his reach,
and he gave forth from time to time those powerful emblematic pictures
that roused the citizen and cheered the soldier. In these early works,
produced amidst the harrowing anxieties of the war, the serious element
was of necessity dominant, and it was this quality that gave them so
much influence. They were as much the expression of heart-felt
conviction as Mr. Curtis's most impassioned editorials, or Mr. Lincoln's
Gettysburg speech. This I know, because I sat by his side many a time
while he was drawing them, and was with him often at those electric
moments when the idea of a picture was conceived. It was not till the
war was over, and President Andrew Johnson began to "swing round the
circle," that Mr. Nast's pictures became caricatures. But they were none
the less the utterance of conviction. Whether he is wrong or right in
the view presented of a subject, his pictures are always as much the
product of his mind as they are of his hand.

Concerning the justice of many of his political caricatures there must
be, of course, two opinions; but happily his greatest achievement is one
which the honest portion of the people all approve. Caricature, since
the earliest known period of its existence, far back in the dawn of
Egyptian history, has accomplished nothing else equal to the series of
about forty-five pictures contributed by Thomas Nast to _Harper's
Weekly_ for the explosion of the Tammany Ring. These are the utmost that
satiric art has done in that kind. The fertility of invention displayed
by the artist, week after week, for months at a time, was so
extraordinary that people concluded, as a matter of course, the ideas
were furnished him by others. On the contrary, he can not draw from the
suggestions of other minds. His more celebrated pictures have been drawn
in quiet country places, several miles from the city in which they were

The presence in New York of seventy or eighty thousand voters, born and
reared in Europe, and left by European systems of government and
religion totally ignorant of all that the citizens of a free state are
most concerned to know, gave a chance here to the political thief such
as has seldom existed, except within the circle of a court and
aristocracy. The stealing, which was begun forty years before in the old
corporation tea-room, had at last become a system, which was worked by a
few coarse, cunning men with such effect as to endanger the solvency of
the city. They stole more like kings and emperors than like common
thieves, and the annual festival given by them at the Academy of Music
called to mind the reckless profusion of Louis XIV. when he entertained
the French nobles at Versailles at the expense of the laborious and
economical people of France. Their chief was almost as ignorant and
vulgar, though not as mean and pig-like, as George IV. of England. In
many particulars they resembled the gang of low conspirators who seized
the supreme power in France in 1851, and in the course of twenty years
brought that powerful and illustrious nation so near ruin that it is
even now a matter of doubt whether it exists by strength or by


(_A New Christmas Pantomime at Tammany Hall._)

_Clown (to Pantaloon)._ "Let's blind them with _this_, and then take
_some more_."

Tweed's Gift of Fifty Thousand Dollars to the Poor of his Native Ward.
(_Harper's Weekly_, January 14th, 1871.)]

What an escape we had! But, also, what immeasurable harm was done! From
being a city where every one wished to live, or, at least, often to
remain, they allowed New York to become a place from which all escaped
who could. Nothing saved its business predominance but certain facts of
geology and geography which Rings can not alter. Two generations of
wise and patriotic exertion will not undo the mischief done by that knot
of scoundrels in about six years. The press caught them at the full tide
of their success, when the Tammany Ring, in fell alliance with a
railroad ring, was confident of placing a puppet of its own in the
Presidential chair. The history of this melancholy lapse, from the hour
when an alderman first pocketed a quire of note-paper, or carried from
the tea-room a bundle of cigars, to the moment of Tweed's rescue from a
felon's cell through the imperfection of the law, were a subject
worthier far of a great American writer in independent circumstances
than any he could find in the records of the world beyond the sea. The
interests of human nature, not less than the special interests of this
country, demand that it should be written; for all the nations are now
in substantially the same moral and political condition. Old methods
have become everywhere inadequate before new ones are evolved; and
meanwhile the Scoundrel has all the new forces and implements at his
command. If ever this story should be written for the instruction of
mankind, the historian will probably tell us that two young men of the
New York press did more than any others to create the feeling that broke
the Ring. Both of them naturally loathed a public thief. One of these
young men in the columns of an important daily paper, and the other on
the broad pages of _Harper's Weekly_, waged brilliant and effective
warfare against the combination of spoilers. They made mad the guilty
and appalled the free. They gave, also, moral support to the able and
patriotic gentlemen who, in more quiet, unconspicuous ways, were
accumulating evidence that finally consigned some of the conspirators to
felons' cells, and made the rest harmless wanderers over the earth.

[Illustration: "Who Stole the People's Money?"

(Thomas Nast, in _Harper's Weekly_, August 19th, 1871.)]

Comic art is now well established among us. In the illustrated papers
there are continually appearing pictures which are highly amusing,
without having the incisive, aggressive force of Mr. Nast's caricatures.
The old favorites of the public, Bellew, Eytinge, Reinhart, Beard, are
known and admired, and the catalogue continually lengthens by the
addition of other names. Interesting sketches, more or less satirical,
bear the names of Brackmere, C. G. Parker, M. Woolf, G. Bull, S. Fox,
Paul Frenzeny, Thomas Worth, Hopkins, Frost, Wust, and others. Among
such names it is delightful to find those of two ladies, Mary M'Donald
and Jennie Browscombe. The old towns of New England abound in
undeveloped and half-developed female talent, for which there seems at
present no career. There will never be a career for talent undeveloped
or half developed. Give the schools in those fine old towns one lesson a
week in object-drawing from a teacher that knows his business, keep it
up for one generation, and New England girls will cheer all homes by
genial sketches and amusing glimpses of life, to say nothing of more
important and serious artistic work. The talent exists; the taste
exists. Nothing is wanting but for us all to cast away from us the
ridiculous notion that the only thing in human nature that requires
educating is the brain. We must awake to the vast absurdity of bringing
up girls upon algebra and Latin, and sending them out into a world which
they were born to cheer and decorate unable to walk, dance, sing, or
draw; their minds overwrought, but not well nourished, and their bodies
devoid of the rudiments of education.

[Illustration: "On to Richmond!"--The Peninsular Campaign. (1862.)

_M'Clellan._ "You must coax him along: conciliate him. Force won't do. I
don't believe in it; but don't let go. Keep his head to the rear. If he
should get away, he might go to Richmond, and then my plans for
conquering the Rebellion will never be developed."

_B-lm-t._ "Hold fast, B-rl-w, or he _will_ get to Richmond in spite of
us; and then my capital for the European market is all lost."

_B-rl-w._ "I've got him fast; there's no danger. He's only changing his
base to the Gun-boats."

_B-lm-t._ "Look out for that letter to the President which you wrote for
him. Don't lose that."

_B-rl-w._ "No; I have it safe here in my pocket. When his change of base
is effected, I will make him sign the letter, and send it to old Abe."]

There is no country on earth where the humorous aspects of human life
are more relished than in the United States, and none where there is
less power to exhibit them by the pencil. There are to-day a thousand
paragraphs afloat in the press which ought to have been pictures. Here
is one from a newspaper in the interior of Georgia: "A sorry sight it
is to see a spike team, consisting of a skeleton steer and a skinky
blind mule, with rope harness, and a squint-eyed driver, hauling a
barrel of new whisky over poor roads, on a hermaphrodite wagon, into a
farming district where the people are in debt, and the children are
forced to practice scant attire by day and hungry sleeping by night."
The man who penned those graphic lines needed, perhaps, but an educated
hand to reproduce the scene, and make it as vivid to all minds as it was
to his own. The country contains many such possible artists.

A novel kind of living caricature has been presented occasionally, of
late, by Mr. William E. Baker, of the famous firm of sewing-machine
manufacturers, Grover & Baker. At his farm in Natick, Massachusetts, Mr.
Baker is fond of burlesquing the national propensity to convert every
trifling celebration into a banner-and-brass-band pageant. A great
company was once invited to his place to "assist" at the naming of a
calf. At another time, the birthday of a favorite heifer was celebrated
with pomp and circumstance. In the summer of 1875, several hundreds of
people were summoned to witness the laying of the corner-stone of a new
pig-pen, and among the guests were a governor, military companies,
singing clubs, members of foreign legations, and other persons of note
and importance. The enormous card of invitation, besides being adorned
with pictures of high-bred pigs in the happiest condition, contained a
story showing how pigs had brought on a war between two powerful
nations. This was the tale:

[Illustration: Christmas-time--Won at a Turkey Raffle. (Sol Eytinge,
Jun., _Harper's Weekly_, January 3d, 1874.)

"De breed am small, but de flavor am delicious."]

"By the carelessness of a boy in 1811, a garden-gate in Rhode Island was
left open; two pigs entered and destroyed a few plants. The day was
hot, the pigs fat, and when attempts were made to drive them out, the
characteristic obstinacy of the animals occasioned such violent exercise
as to cause their death. A quarrel ensued between the owner of the pigs
and the owner of the garden, which, spreading among their friends,
resulted in the election of the opposition candidate--Howell--by one
majority to the United States Senate, by whose vote the motion to
postpone until the next session further consideration on the question of
declaring war was defeated by one majority; and by the vote following it
war was declared with Great Britain in 1812, although Howell was opposed
to and voted against it."

[Illustration: "He cometh not, she said." (M. Woolf, in _Harper's
Bazar_, July 31st, 1875.)]

This story was illustrated by excellent wood-cuts. The account of the
festival, given in the _Boston Advertiser_, is worth preserving as a
narrative of the most costly, extensive, and elaborate joke ever
performed in the United States. Since kings and emperors ceased to amuse
their guests with similar burlesques, I know not if the world has
witnessed "fooling" on so large a scale.

"On Saturday" (June 19th, 1875, two days after the Bunker Hill
Centennial) "the invited guests repaired to the Albany Railroad Dépôt.
The nine-o'clock train took out the Fifth Maryland Regiment, which had
been invited, and the Marine Band of Washington, also a delegation of
the Washington Light Infantry of Charleston, South Carolina.

"The next train took out their escort, the Charlestown Cadets, Company
A, Fifth Massachusetts Regiment, Captain J. E. Phipps, the corps missing
the train; a large number of invited guests, including Governor Gaston,
his aid, Colonel Wyman, Colonels Kingsbury and Treadwell, and other
representatives of the State House, General I. S. Burrell, First
Brigade, and a great many officers of rank of the different military
organizations of the State in uniform.

"Upon arriving at the dépôt in Wellesley, the carriage of Governor
Eustis, in which Lafayette rode into Boston in 1824, with large
iron-gray horses and rich gold-mounted harness, as old-fashioned as the
vehicle, was placed at the service of the governor and his party. The
line, consisting of some fifty vehicles, each capable of transporting
twenty or thirty persons, headed by Edmands's Band, was then formed
under the direction of Lieutenant Francis L. Hills, of the United States
Artillery, who, by-the-way, was a most useful marshal.

"The procession was welcomed to the Farms by George O. Sanford, Chief
Marshal, who was attired in a rich dark-velvet suit of the style of
1775, trimmed with gold-lace, and a bag-wig.

"About two or three thousand persons were upon the ground. Among them
were General Banks, General Underwood, Colonel Andrews, of Charleston,
South Carolina, and many other citizens of note, in addition to those
previously mentioned. The marshals were distinguished by wearing a
miniature silver hog upon the lapels of their coats, upon which were the
letters 'W. E. B., June 19th, 1875,' and underneath the metal a ribbon
badge with 'Marshal' in gold letters, intended to read 'We B Marshal.'
They also carried a silver baton with red, white, and blue ribbons. Of
those upon the ground perhaps five hundred were ladies.

"Teams from all the surrounding country were in the roads about the
place, with their occupants gazing upon the spectacle. The military, who
had marched from the dépôt, were drawn up on the lawn. The Marine Band
was discoursing its delightful music here, Edmands's Band at another
point, and the Natick Cornet at a third.

"Old Father Time was circulating about in gray hair, long gray beard, a
dark-purple velvet robe, and carrying the conventional scythe. Cheers
upon cheers were going up for the host from the military and the other
guests. Many hundreds of chairs were provided at different points for
the use of the weary. The young son of Mr. Baker was dressed in full
Revolutionary Minute-man costume.

"About twelve o'clock the military stacked their arms, and all repaired
to an immense pavilion, where substantial refreshments, including iced
tea for a beverage, were provided for the thousands. In the 'Minnehaha
Sweet-water Wigwam' were two immense tubs holding about two barrels
each, one filled with lemonade and the other with claret-punch.

"In a large pen or 'corral' built of railroad-ties, in a manner
partaking of a Virginia fence, a log-cabin, and a block fortress, were a
cage of youthful bears and cages of other animals. The place was
surrounded with pictures of hogs and men, both indulging in a grand
carouse. There was no roof, and the top was surmounted by stuffed birds
and animals. In this place two of Satan's respectable representatives, a
blue devil and a red devil, were dealing out whisky-punch.

"At about two o'clock a procession marched about a quarter of a mile to
the vicinity of the Buffalo yards, where the corner-stone of the new
piggery was to be laid. A platform some thirty feet square had been
erected, and, after music from Edmands's Band, Mr. Baker made a brief
address of welcome.

"Brief and pertinent remarks were made by Governor Gaston, Curtis Guild,
Esq., of the _Commercial Bulletin_, Colonel Andrews, of South Carolina,
and C. B. Farnsworth, of Rhode Island.

"Colonel Jenkins, commander of the Fifth, was called upon, and commenced
a patriotic speech, when he was interrupted by Mr. Baker, who took from
a box a live white pig, some six weeks old, and presented it to the
colonel for a 'Child of the Regiment.'

"Amidst shouts of laughter, the gallant colonel, in his rich dress, went
on, dealing out patriotism with one arm and holding the pig in the
other, where it quietly reposed, looking for all the world like a quiet
babe just from the bath. The effect was irrepressibly ludicrous.

"Soon afterward Mr. Baker produced a black pig, some three months old;
but the officer, having his arms already full, handed it to one of his
men, who threw it upon his back, and only its head and fore paws were
visible over the shoulders of the soldier.

"The rueful look of Piggy as he contemplated society from this novel
position, and his squeals of wonder and fright, sent off the whole
audience again into laughter, and the Maryland boys cheered for their
adopted twins.

"The corner-stone was then lowered into position, the rope being held by
Governor Gaston, Colonel Andrews, Colonel Jenkins, and Mr. Farnsworth,
Mr. Baker first remarking that, as the Jews considered the pig unclean,
it might be well to put a scent under the stone, which Mr. Guild thought
was a centimental idea. Many cents were thrown, after which there was a
slight shower, and many persons entered the big stable where were the
wonderful cows which gave milk-punch.

"After the ceremony there was another collation, and then the soldiers
had a game of foot-ball. As they were about to be loaded into
carriages--for they rode back to the dépôt--several hundred red, white,
and blue toy balloons were cut loose, and the air was filled with flocks
of them. The troops took the train and arrived in town at six o'clock,
and left almost immediately for home."

With this remarkable specimen of Comic Art in America, I take leave of
the subject.



  Abbott, Dr., interprets an Egyptian caricature, 32.

  Adams, John, quoted, upon a free commonwealth, 321.

  Æneas, burlesque picture of, 20.

  Alcmena, Princess, burlesqued, 29.

  Alexaminos, Roman caricature of, 26.

  Alexander I., his advice to Louis XVIII., 213.

  American caricature, chapters upon, 300, 318.

  Amsterdam, caricatures published in, 129.

  Anchises burlesqued, 20.

  Ancients, the, their modes of ridicule, 15.

  Antiphanes, quoted, upon women, 176.

  Antiquaries puzzled, picture of, 146.

  Apollo burlesqued, 29, 30.

  Arbuthnot, John, his epitaph upon Charteris, 136.

  Aristophanes, his power to provoke mirth, 30;
    satire of women, 176.

  Armstrong, John, quoted, 309.

  Ascanius burlesqued, 20.

  Ass, the, catechism upon, 49.

  Avegay, Madame, in a caricature, 63.


  Bacchus, legend of, 23.

  Baker, William E., his burlesque celebration, 331.

  Ballou, M. M., his quotation-book, 184.

  Bastwick, Dr., loses his ears, 99;
    his triumphal return to London, 99.

  Beaumarchais, Caron de, quoted, 161, 162.

  Beaumont, G. de, a caricature by, 184.

  Beer known to the ancient Egyptians, 34.

  Béranger, Pierre-Jean de, his songs during the Restoration, 214, 215.

  Bernard, St., quoted, upon grotesque decoration, 47.

  Biddle, Nicholas, burlesqued, 321.

  Bohemians, the, described, 172.

  Bomba caricatured, 262, 263.

  Bonaparte, Eugénie, caricatured, 234, 238.

  Bonaparte, Louis, burlesqued, 235, 238.

  Bonaparte, L. N., caricatured, 233, 238, 250, 252, 255.

  Bonaparte, Napoleon, developed through George III., 153;
    suppressed caricature, 208;
    caricatures of, 210, 268, 269.

  Boston described, 301.

  Box, Dame, anecdote of, 117.

  Bradlaugh, Charles, in a caricature, 297.

  Brandt, Sebastian, his "Ship of Fools," 60, 180.

  Brougham, Lord, caricatured in _Punch_, 287, 289.

  Browne, Hablot K., criticised by Thackeray, 223.

  Burke, Edmund, in Gillray's caricatures, 154;
    quoted, upon the French Revolution, 163;
    caricature, 164.

  Burnet, Bishop, describes an altar-piece, 48.

  Bute, Lord, a favorite of George III., 150;
    caricatured, 152, 153.

  Butler, B. F., upon war envelopes, 324.

  Button, Daniel, his coffee-house, 135.


  Cairo never swept, 22.

  Calvin, Jean, his origin, 82;
    caricatures of, 83-85.

  Cambacérès, Jean-Jacques Regis de, a portrait of, 213.

  Canning, Mr., not offended by caricature, 289.

  Carlyle, Thomas, quoted, upon the French, 162, 163.

  Cathedrals, decorations of, 40-43;
    explained, 48.

  _Centinel_, the, a parody from, 314.

  Chambers, William, quoted, upon his early time, 272.

  Cham, caricatures by, 185, 228, 232.

  Champfleury, Jules, quoted, on pigmies, 18;
    on cathedral decoration, 43, 46, 53;
    gives a burlesque Paternoster, 61;
    upon midnight masses, 61;
    upon burlesque decoration of manuscripts, 67;
    caricature from, 161, 162, 211;
    quoted, 212, 220.

  _Charivari, Le_, its course, 218, 220.

  Charles II., caricature of, 103, 106.

  Charles X. dethroned, 216.

  Charlotte, Queen, caricatured, 154.

  Charteris, Colonel Francis, epitaph upon, 136.

  Chatham, Lord, caricatured, 156; disliked by George III., 157.

  Chatto, W. A., quoted, upon an old caricature, 64, 97.

  Chesterfield, Lord, quoted, upon women, 185.

  China, caricatures of, 191.

  Chiron burlesqued, 29.

  Christians, Roman caricature of, 25;
    Roman opinion of, 26.

  Cicero divorces his wife, 178.

  Clement VII. ridiculed by Luther, 76;
    pasquinade upon, 258.

  Clergy, the, dissolute in the early ages, 68;
    anecdotes of, 68;
    rob and plunder, 69.

  Coalition, the, caricatured, 157, 158.

  Collier, Payne, writes out Punch, 266.

  Commune, the, caricatures of, 235.

  Cranach, Lucas, caricaturist of the Reformation, 77.

  Cranmer, Bishop, his martyrdom, 87.

  Cris-cross rhymes, specimen of, 105.

  Cromwell, Elizabeth, caricatured, 107.

  Cromwell, Oliver, caricatured, 104;
    his funeral and disinterment, 106.

  Cromwell, Richard, in caricature, 107.

  Crozat, Antoine, sells Louisiana trade, 125.

  Cruikshank, George, his caricature of crinoline, 181;
    of school-girls, 189;
    draws Punch, 265;
    his career, 268;
    pictures by, 270, 271, 273;
    his family, 269.

  Cruikshank, Isaac, his career, 273.

  Cuba, comic art in, 256.


  Dance of Death, in Art of Middle Ages, 57-59.

  Dangeau, Marquis de, quoted, upon Louis XV., 159.

  Daumier, M., his caricatures, 180, 219, 235.

  Davus satirizes Horace, 25.

  Death-crier, picture of, 56.

  "Decameron," the, its effect upon contemporaries, 70.

  Devil, the, traditional character of, 51; caricatured, 52-55;
    modified by time, 65.

  Devonshire, Duchess of, caricatured, 153.

  Dickens, Charles, his "Pickwick," 23;
    origin of his "Bill Stumps," 146;
    Pickwick suggested by Seymour, 280;
    described by Willis, 282.

  Disraeli, Benjamin, caricatured, 289.

  D'Israeli, Isaac, quoted, upon _Punch_, 265.

  Dodington, Bubb, quoted, upon early life of George III., 148, 149.

  "Don Quixote," one secret of its charm, 23;
    quoted, 56.

  Doré, Gustave, caricature by, 231, 232.

  Doyle, John, his caricatures, 275.

  Doyle, Richard, his Wedding Breakfast, 281;
    leaves _Punch_ for conscience' sake, 299.

  Du Maurier, Mr., his pictures of children, 294, 297.

  Durand, M., his interpretation of a cathedral, 48.

  Dürer, Albert, describes a procession, 92.


  Egyptians, art among, 32, 33;
    their habits, 34, 56.

  Elizabeth, Queen, celebration of her birthday, 110.

  England, caricature in, 267.

  Erasmus, quoted, upon the monks, 66, 71;
    detested by Luther, 75;
    satirizes women, 181, 182.

  Evelyn, John, quoted, upon law, 124.

  Extinguishers, family of the, 214.

  Eytinge, Sol, picture by, 331.


  Fairholt, F. W., upon Gog and Magog, 50.

  Fanning the Grave--a Chinese poem, 193.

  Feuillet, Octave, misrepresents, 172.

  "Figaro, Marriage of," quoted, 161, 162.

  Fleury, Cardinal, tutor of Louis XV., 159.

  Fox, Charles James, in Gillray's caricatures, 153, 154, 157;
    disliked by George III., 157;
    caricatured by Isaac Cruikshank, 274.

  France, caricature of, 208.

  Franklin, Benjamin, his caricature of the Colonies Reduced, 147;
    quoted, upon George III., 151;
    burlesques English policy, 155;
    quoted, 185;
    his early use of pictures, 300, 304;
    his early lampoons, 302;
    his love of humor, 301, 303;
    his Scalp Hoax, 306.

  Frederic II. snubs Pompadour, 160.

  French Revolution, caricatures of, 161-170.

  Fry, William H., his use of Juvenal, 23.


  Galas, General, caricature of, 115.

  Gallatin, Albert, good financier, 124.

  Ganesa, his character in Hindoo theology, 36.

  Gardiner, Bishop, his martyrdom, 86, 87.

  Gautier, Théophile, quoted, upon Gavarni, 224.

  Gavarni, his caricatures of women, 171, 176, 187, 188;
    his only political caricatures, 216;
    social caricatures by, 223, 224, 226;
    portrait of, 236.

  Gegeef, his caricatures, 297.

  Geiler, Jacob, satirizes the monks, 71.

  George III., his early life, 148;
    compared with Louis XV., 159;
    caricature of, 209, 269.

  George IV., anecdote of, 151;
    in Gillray's caricatures, 154.

  Germany, comic art in, 242.

  Gerry, Elbridge, in the affair of the Gerry-mander, 317.

  Gerry-mander, the picture of, 316.

  Gibbon, Edward, quoted, upon rise of Christianity, 47, 54.

  "Gil Blas," secret of its charm, 23.

  Gillray, James, his works described, 153, 154;
    caricatures Napoleon, 209;
    his portrait, 267.

  Gin, law to diminish use of, 143.

  Girin, a caricature from, 179.

  Godfrey, Sir Edmundsbury, assassinated, 109-111.

  Godiva, remark upon, 183.

  Goethe, J. W., quoted, upon housekeeping, 177.

  Gog and Magog, pictures of, 50.

  Gondomar, Count, complains of a caricature, 96, 97.

  Greeks, art among, 28.

  Griswold, Roger, assaulted by Lyon, 312.


  Hamilton, Alexander, talked well on finance, 124.

  _Harper's Weekly_, during war, 326;
    pictures from, 318-332.

  Herculaneum, how discovered, 21.

  Hindoos, the, art among, 36;
    their domestic code, 175.

  Hogarth, William, his career, 120, 133;
    caricatures by, 134, 137, 138;
    his five days' peregrination, 137;
    anecdote by, 138;
    his burlesque dedication, 140;
    procures act of Parliament, 141;
    his last letter, 304.

  Holbein, Hans, caricatures indulgences, 72, 73;
    illustrates Erasmus and Brandt, 76;
    his triumph of riches, 81.

  Homer upon pigmies, 17.

  Horace, quoted, upon slavery, 23;
    upon a miser, 24;
    upon the Saturnalia, 25.

  Howard, Cardinal, personated, 111.

  Howells, William D., upon San Carlo, 42, 47.

  Huc, M., quoted, upon the Chinese, 191.

  Huguenots, caricatures by, 118.

  Humbert, Aimé, his work upon Japan, 198;
    a caricature from, 206.

  Humpty Dumpty, antiquity of, 23.


  Ipswich noted in Puritan period, 97.

  Isaac the Jew, caricatured, 63.

  Italy, caricature in, 257.


  Jackson, Andrew, in caricature, 320, 322.

  "Jade Chaplet," the, a poem from, 193.

  Japan, comic art in, 198, 206.

  Jefferson, Thomas, quoted, upon the hereditary principle, 147;
    upon Scott's novels, 184;
    upon the freedom of the press, 218;
    caricatured, 313.

  Jerome, St., his portrait, 47.

  Jews, the, position and character of, in Middle Ages, 62.

  Jupiter, caricature of, 29, 30.

  Juvenal, quoted, upon slavery, 23;
    upon the toilette, 24;
    upon the Greeks, 31;
    upon learned women, 179.


  Kenrick, J., quoted, upon Theban remains, 33.

  Krishna, in Hindoo theology, 36-38.


  Langlois, E. H., quoted, upon the Death-crier, 56.

  Laud, Archbishop, caricatured, 98, 100-102.

  Law, John, his career, 120, 123-132.

  Leech, John, his comic pictures, 284-286;
    his portrait, 285.

  Leighton, Dr. Alexander, persecuted, 98.

  Lent and Shrovetide, tilt of, 107, 108.

  Leo X., pasquinade upon, 258.

  Lincoln, Abraham, in _Punch_, 290, 291.

  London, its antiquity, 22.

  Longfellow, H. W., quoted, upon Dance of Death, 59.

  Louisiana, scheme for settling, 125;
    old map of, 126.

  Louis Philippe, his reign, 216, 217;
    caricatured, 218, 321.

  Louis XIV., caricatured, 115, 116, 118;
    his finances, 121.

  Louis XV., his education, 159;
    anecdote of, 161.

  Louis XVI. caricatured, 166, 167.

  Louis XVIII., his character and reign, 212, 213.

  Lucian, quoted, upon Jupiter, 30.

  Luther, Martin, his aversion to Jews, 63;
    caricature of, 64;
    upon the devil, 65;
    disliked Erasmus, 75;
    used caricature in the Reformation, 76;
    his marriage, 78;
    his credulity, 93.

  Luxembourg, Duc de, anecdote of, 116.

  Lyon, Matthew, his assault upon Griswold, 312;
    fined and imprisoned, 313.


  Macaire, Robert, burlesques so called, 221.

  Malcolm, J. P., quoted, upon grotesque decoration, 44-46;
    picture from, 90, 95, 196, 197.

  Marcelin, M., dedicates loose pictures to his mother, 231.

  Marcus Aurelius, quoted, upon Christians, 26.

  Maria Theresa civil to Pompadour, 160.

  Marie Antoinette caricatured, 169, 170.

  Mary, Queen, her prayer-book, 46, 53, 54.

  Masks worn by ancient actors, 22.

  Mather, Cotton, quoted, upon the Franklins, 301, 302.

  Mather, Increase, quoted, upon the press, 302.

  Matrimony, caricature of, 173, 177;
    in China, 192.

  Melanchthon, Philip, upon Luther's marriage, 79.

  Menius, Dr., anecdote of, 63.

  Mercury burlesqued, 29, 30.

  Mérimée, M., quoted, on the devil, 53.

  Middle Ages, caricature of, 40, 50.

  Midnight masses, gayety of, in France, 61.

  Mingotti, Signora, caricature of, 143.

  Mirabeau, Gabriel, Comte de, caricature of, 162.

  Mitford, A. W., quoted, upon Japanese preaching, 198.

  Mokke, Mosse, caricatured, 63.

  Moor, Major Edward, quoted, upon Hindoo art, 36.

  Morellet, Abbé, quoted, upon Franklin, 306.

  Morgan, Matt, a caricature by, 299.

  Morris, Robert, caricatured, 309.


  Nareda, in Hindoo mythology, 38.

  Nast, Thomas, portrait of, 318;
    caricatures by, 319, 320, 328, 329;
    his career, 326.

  Nilus, St., quoted, upon grotesque decoration, 46.

  Nonius Maximus caricatured at Pompeii, 16.

  North, Lord, caricatured, 157;
    disapproves policy of George III., 158.

  Norton, Charles Eliot, quoted, upon art in Italy, 260, 262.

  Norwich, great dragon of, 51.

  Notables, the, caricatured, 161.

  Nucerians, the, their contest with the people of Pompeii, 17.


  Oates, Titus, denounces Popish plot, 109.

  Old masters, Hogarth upon, 138;
    burlesque of, 139.

  Olympiodorus, St. Nilus to, on decoration, 46.

  Opimius burlesqued by Horace, 24.

  Orange, Prince of, anecdote of, 116.

  Orleans, Duc de, Regent of France, 122.

  Osiris, in Egyptian art, 33.

  Oudinot, General, caricatured, 260, 261.


  Paine, Thomas, caricatured by Gillray, 154;
    in a caricature, 297.

  Palladas, his epigram upon marriage, 177.

  Palmerston, Lord, in _Punch_, 289, 290.

  Parrhasius, anecdote of, 28.

  Pasquino, account of, 257, 259.

  Pergamus, unswept hall of, 28.

  Petre, Father, caricature of, 109.

  Philipon, Charles, portrait of, 218;
    his _Charivari_, 220;
    his trial, 220.

  Pigmies, Pompeian pictures of, 15, 17-19;
    described by Pliny, 17;
    uses of, 18.

  Pike, Luke Owen, a caricature from, 63;
    quoted, upon clerical robbers, 69.

  _Pirlone, Il Don_, caricatures from, 259-263.

  Pitt, William, antagonist of Napoleon, 158;
    caricatured by Isaac Cruikshank, 274.

  Pius VI., pasquinade upon, 258.

  Pius IX. caricatured, 263.

  Pliny the Elder describes pigmies, 17;
    upon Greek art, 28.

  Pliny the Younger, quoted, upon Christians, 26.

  Pocahontas, anecdote of, 175.

  Pole, Cardinal, caricatured, 86.

  "Politician Outwitted," quoted, 307.

  Pompadour, Madame de, anecdotes of, 159-161.

  Pompeii, chalk caricatures from, 15, 17;
    pigmy pugilists from, 15;
    described, 16;
    its amphitheatre closed, 17;
    how discovered, 21.

  "Poor Richard," the comic almanac of its day, 303.

  Pope, Alexander, speculates in shares, 128;
    in a caricature, 136;
    quoted, upon Walpole, 142;
    women, 184.

  Popish plot, terror of, 109.

  Processions, remarks upon, 91;
    in honor of Virgin Mary, 92;
    upon birthday of Queen Elizabeth, 110.

  Proverbs satirizing women, 185.

  Prynne, Lawyer, loses his ears, 99;
    his triumphal return to London, 99.

  _Puck_, a burlesque from, 197.

  Punch, antiquity of the legend, 31;
    in Calcutta, 39;
    in China, 191;
    at Cairo, 264;
    origin of, 265.

  _Punch_, 284.

  Puritan period, caricatures of, 90;
    terror of, 93, 94, 98, 105, 106.


  Quaker meeting, caricature of, 116.

  Queen of James II., caricature of, 109.

  Quincampoix, scenes in the street so named, 127, 129.


  Rabelais, François, his influence, 85, 86.

  Randon, M., his caricatures, 227, 230.

  Rationalism, caricature of, 298.

  Reformation, the, caricatures of, 76;
    abolished processions, 93.

  "Reynard the Fox," its effect, 70.

  Rheims, its cathedral, 40.

  Richard II., his psalter, 45.

  Richter, Ludwig, caricature by, 248.

  Rochefoucauld, Duc de, quoted, upon women, 184.

  Roman Catholic Church, remark upon, 46.

  Rome, actors of, 22.

  Roundhead, the nickname, retorted, 104.

  Rupert, Prince, caricature of, 102.

  Russell, Benjamin, his allegory, 310.

  Russell, Earl, quoted, upon George III., 157;
    upon a caricature of himself, 284.


  Sacheverell, Dr., caricatured, 116, 117.

  Sachs, Hans, his picture described, 78.

  Saint-Simon, Duc de, quoted, upon the French Government, 125.

  Satan, traditional character of, 51.

  Saturnalia, the, at Rome, 24.

  Saxe-Weimar, Duke of, quoted, upon American manners, 277.

  Scalp Hoax, the, described, 305.

  Scott, Sir Walter, Jefferson upon his novels, 184.

  Secession War, caricatures of, 324-326.

  Servetus, Michael, burned, 83, 84.

  Seymour, Robert, suggests "Pickwick," 280.

  Shakspeare, William, his death, 95.

  Sheridan, R. B., in Gillray's caricatures, 154;
    anecdote of, 165.

  Sherman, Roger, upon title of the President, 309.

  "Ship of Fools" described and quoted, 60, 180.

  Shrovetide and Lent, caricatures of, 107, 108.

  Silenus, the legend of, 23.

  Sleeping Congregation, the, Hogarth's picture of, 134.

  Smart, Rev. Peter, persecuted, 98.

  Smith, William, burlesqued, 316.

  Socrates burlesqued by Aristophanes, 31.

  South Sea Scheme described, 128;
    caricatures of, 135.

  Spain, proverbs of, 185;
    comic art in, 249.

  Spayne and Rome defeated, picture of, 95.

  Staël, Madame de, Napoleon afraid of, 208.

  Stent, G. C., quoted, upon the Chinese, 192.

  Stone, S. J., caricature by, 298.

  Story, W. W., quoted, upon Pasquino, 258, 259.

  Strafford, Earl of, caricatured, 99, 100.

  Strasburg, its cathedral, 41.


  Talleyrand, Prince de, caricatures of, 209, 211;
    quoted, upon Napoleon, 212;
    caricatured, 268.

  Tammany Ring, spoliations of, 328.

  Taylor, W. B., collects war envelopes, 324, 325.

  Temptation, the, picture of, 55.

  Tench, drum-maker, his fête, 106.

  Tenniel, John, his pictures in _Punch_, 286, 289, 290;
    portrait of, 295.

  Terence, quoted, upon women, 179.

  Tertullian, quoted, upon Last Judgment, 54.

  Thackeray, W. M., his caricature of Louis XIV., 119;
    quoted, upon Hogarth, 137;
    upon Louis Philippe, 219, 220;
    commends Daumier, 223.

  Thebes, antiquities of, 33, 35.

  Titian burlesques the Laocoön, 89.

  Tomes, Robert, quoted, upon Rheims Cathedral, 40.

  Training Day, burlesque of, 308.

  Trajan to Pliny, upon the Christians, 27.

  Trollope, Mrs., her burlesques of American women, 183, 186, 276, 277,
    burlesqued, 323.

  Tweed, William, caricatured, 319, 320, 328.

  Tyrolese, the, scandalize their priests, 69.


  Van Buren, John, anecdote of, 320.

  Van Buren, Martin, in caricature, 320, 322.

  Vélocipède IV. See _Bonaparte, Louis_.

  Viollet-le-duc, M., quoted, upon burlesque decoration, 64.

  Virgil, quoted, upon Æneas, 20.

  Virginia Pausing, caricature, 326.

  Virgin Mary, her festival, 92.

  Voltaire, quoted, upon Massacre of St. Bartholomew, 94.


  Wade, Mr., burlesque of, 196, 197.

  Waldegrave, Lord, quoted, upon George III., 150, 157.

  Wales, Prince of, caricatured, 299.

  Wales, Princess of, quoted, upon George III., 148;
    caricatured, 152.

  Wall Street, scenes in, during inflation, 121.

  Walpole, Horace, quoted, upon a caricature, 144;
    upon mother of George III., 148.

  Walpole, Sir Robert, in South Sea speculations, 128;
    bribes, 141, 142;
    caricatured, 144, 145;
    downfall, 145.

  Ward, Samuel, his caricature, 96, 97.

  Washington, George, the picture of his crossing the Delaware, 21;
    caricatured, 309.

  Weather-cock, order of the, 214.

  Wilkes, John, Franklin upon, 151.

  Wilkinson, Sir Gardner, quoted, upon Egyptian remains, 34, 35.

  William and Mary, caricatures during their reign, 115.

  William IV. caricatured by Doyle, 276.

  Williams, S. W., a Chinese caricature from, 191.

  Willis, N. P., his interview with Dickens, 282.

  Winchester, its cathedral, 43.

  Wine among the Egyptians, 33, 34;
    among the monks, 68.

  Women and matrimony, caricatures of, 171-190.

  Worms, altar-piece at, 49.

  Wright, Thomas, gives caricature of Irish warrior, 61;
    quoted, 70.


  Xenophon, quoted, upon marriage, 177.


  Zeuxis, anecdote of, 28.




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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

[Transcriber's notes: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all
other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has
been maintained.

Superscripts are enclosed in {}.

Page 112: "With Bluddy hands that ware his Cruell foes", the "u" in
bluddy should have a macron over it.

Page 275 and following: The "HB" present in this file are in the
original book a symbol looking like H3, without the space between both

Page 4 of the adverts: "Imperial University of T[=o]ki[=o]", the "o" in
Tokio should have a macron over them.]

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